The Palette

By George Sterling

Here in a marshy spot that the rains have fed,
    The red-winged blackbirds have built them a cup-shaped nest,
Hid in a dark-green tussock's grassy head,
    That sways an inch in the little winds from the west.

Four are the pale-blue eggs on whose rondure lies
    A circle of dots and scrawls of the ancient ink
That never has flowed from a pen—O rune that cries
    More, perhaps, than we in our wisdom think!

And the Power that fashioned there the smallest dot
    Is the one that sows earth's jewel-dust of flow'rs,
And lifts the dawn where the courts of hue were not,
    And the sunset glow for an end of the turquoise hours

Seas and forests have made a gem of earth.
    Seek thine opal where foaming rivers laugh
To the flowers that have their part in the waters' mirth.
    Here, O child! is the rainbow's buried half.

Unheard, unseen, the eternal Alchemist
    Wakes the colors that slumber deep in their darks.
O myriad hues! and each one true to its tryst—
    The gold of Arcturus' breast and that of the lark's.

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