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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

The Clouds

By William Croswell (1804–1851)

[Born in Hudson, N. Y., 1804. Died in Boston, Mass., 1851.]

I CANNOT look above and see

Yon high-piled, pillowy mass

Of evening clouds, so swimmingly

In gold and purple pass,

And think not, Lord, how thou wast seen

On Israel’s desert way,

Before them, in thy shadowy screen,

Pavilioned all the day!

Or, of those robes of gorgeous hue

Which the Redeemer wore,

When, ravished from his followers’ view,

Aloft his flight he bore;

When lifted, as on mighty wing,

He curtained his ascent,

And, wrapt in clouds, went triumphing

Above the firmament.

Is it a trail of that same pall

Of many-colored dyes,

That high above, o’ermantling all,

Hangs midway down the skies—

Or borders of those sweeping folds

Which shall be all unfurled

About the Saviour, when he holds

His judgment on the world?

For in like manner as he went,—

My soul, hast thou forgot?—

Shall be his terrible descent,

When man expecteth not!

Strength, Son of man, against that hour,

Be to our spirits given,

When thou shalt come again with power,

Upon the clouds of heaven!