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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By David Atwood Wasson (1823–1887)

[Born in Brooksville, Me., 1823. Died at West Medford, Mass., 1887. Poems. 1888.]

ANGELS of Growth, of old in that surprise

Of your first vision, wild and sweet,

I poured in passionate sighs

My wish unwise

That ye descend my heart to meet—

My heart so slow to rise.

Now thus I pray: Angelic be to hold

In heaven your shining poise afar,

And to my wishes bold

Reply with cold

Sweet invitation, like a star

Fixed in the heavens old.

Did ye descend, what were ye more than I?

Is’t not by this ye are divine—

That, native to the sky,

Ye cannot hie

Downward, and give low hearts the wine

That should reward the high?

Weak, yet in weakness I no more complain

Of your abiding in your places:

Oh, still, howe’er my pain

Wild prayers may rain,

Keep pure on high the perfect graces

That stooping could but stain.

Not to content your lowness, but to lure

And lift us to your angelhood,

Do your surprises pure

Dawn far and sure

Above the tumult of young blood,

And starlike there endure.

Wait there! wait, and invite me while I climb;

For, see, I come! but slow, but slow!

Yet ever as your chime,

Soft and sublime,

Lifts at my feet, they move, they go

Up the great stair of Time.