At early dawn, like soldiers in their places,
Rank upon rank the golden sunflowers stand;
Gazing toward the east with eager faces,
Waiting, until their god shall touch the land
To life and glory, longingly they wait,
Those voiceless watchers at the morning's gate.
Dawn's portals tremble silently apart;
Far to the east, across the dewy plain,
A glory kindles that in every heart
Finds answering warmth and kindles there again;
And rapture beams in every radiant face
Now softly glowing with supernal grace.
And all day long that silent worship lasts,
And as their god moves grandly down the west,
And every stem a lengthening shadow casts
Toward the east, ah, they love him best,
And watch till every lingering ray is gone,
Then slowly turn to greet another dawn.
~By Albert Bigelow Paine~