Poetry of Kansas

The Atmosphere

Oh thou great ocean of encirling air
    That wraps our planet in thy ample folds,
Robing this world with vestment debonair,
    Through which the darting sunlight streams and rc
To thee we sing the paean of our praise,
    For never yet within the range of time
Since poets sang, has one been known to raise
    His voice to thee in silvery flowing rhyme,
    Wherein thy glory was the theme sublime.
To thee we owe the very breath of life:
    Deprived of thee we ne'er could live an hour;
In thy embodied elements are rife,
    The mighty secrets of creative power.
The golden sun on which all things depend,
    Sends through thy envelope his ambient rays
To be conserved by thee, and made to lend
    Their brightness to the calendar of days
    That pass as we pursue our devious ways.
The splendor of the sunset would not be,
    Nor yet the radiant promise of the dawn
Their changing colors we could never see
    If thy prismatic lenses were withdrawn
No gentle rains from heaven e're would fall
    With sweet aspersions on the earth below,
We could not hear the lonely wild bird's call,
    The crash of thunder, or the water's flow,
    Or murmur of the night winds soft and low.
In thy elastic medium we move,
    Since first we crept from out the primal sea,
Our bodies, minds and souls thou didst improve,
    From fish to men we turned at thy decree.
Thou art invisible but yet we feel
    Thy animating presence everywhere
The floating clouds thy glory doth reveal
    When from their bosoms darts the lightning's glare,
    The rushing winds thy majesty declare.

Contemporary Kansas Poetry
Helen Rhoda Hoopes
page 105
(Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)

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July 12, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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