At Dawn and Dusk

A Vision of Youth

Victor James Daley

A HORSEMAN on a hilltop green
    Drew rein, and wound his horn;
So bright he looked he might have been
    The Herald of the Morn.

His steed was of the sovran strain
    In Fancy’s meadows bred—
And pride was in his tossing mane,
    And triumph in his tread.

The rider’s eyes like jewels glowed—
    The World was in his hand—
As down the woodland way he rode
    When Spring was in the land.

From golden hour to golden hour
    For him the woodland sang.
And from the heart of every flower
    A singing fairy sprang.

He rode along with rein so free,
    And, as he rode, the Blue
Mysterious Bird of Fantasy
    Ever before him flew.

He rode by cot and castle dim
    Through all the greenland gay;
Bright eyes through casements glanced at him:
    He laughed—and rode away.

The world with sunshine was aflood,
    And glad were maid and man,
And through his throbbing veins the blood
    In keen, sweet shudders ran.

.     .     .     .     .

His steed tossed head with fiery scorn,
    And stamped, and snuffed the air—
As though he heard a sudden horn
    Of far-off battle blare.

Erect the rider sat awhile
    With flashing eyes, and then
Turned slowly, sighing, with a smile,
    “0 weary world of men!”

For aye the Bird of Fantasy
    Sang magic songs to him,
And deeper and deeper still rode he
    Into the Forest Dim.

.     .     .     .     .

That rider with his face aglow
    With joy of life I see
In dreams. Ah, years and years ago
    He parted ways with me!

Yet, sometimes, when the days are drear
    And all the world forlorn,
From out the dim wood’s heart I hear
    The echo of his horn.

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