Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Evening after a Battle
By Timothy Dwight (1752–1817)
 
  ABOVE tall western hills, the light of day
Shot far the splendors of his golden ray;
Bright from the storm with tenfold grace he smiled,
The tumult softened, and the world grew mild.
With pomp transcendent, robed in heavenly dyes,        5
Arch’d the clear rainbow round the orient skies;
Its changeless form, its hues of beam divine,
—Fair type of truth and beauty’s—endless shine
Around the expanse, with thousand splendors rare;
Gay clouds sail’d wanton through the kindling air;        10
From shade to shade, unnumber’d tinctures blend;
Unnumber’d forms of wond’rous light extend:
In pride stupendous, glittering walls aspire,
Graced with bright domes, and crown’d with towers of fire,
On cliffs cliffs burn; o’er mountains mountains roll:        15
A burst of glory spreads from pole to pole:
Rapt with the splendor, every songster sings,
Tops the high bough, and claps his glistening wings:
With new born green, reviving nature blooms,
And sweeter fragrance freshening air perfumes.        20
  Far south the storm withdrew its troubled reign;
Descending twilight dimm’d the dusky plain;
Black night arose; her curtains hid the ground:
Less roar’d, and less, the thunder’s solemn sound;
The bended lightning shot a brighter stream,        25
Or wrapp’d all heaven in one wide, mantling flame;
By turns, o’er plains, and woods, and mountains, spread
Faint, yellow glimmerings, and a deeper shade.
  From parting clouds, the moon outbreaking shone,
And sate, sole empress, on her silver throne;        30
In clear, full beauty, round all nature smiled,
And claim’d o’er heaven and earth, dominion mild;
With humbler glory, stars her court attend,
And bless’d, and union’d, silent lustre blend.
 
 
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