Hymn to the Moon.

How lovely is this silent scene !1
How beautiful, fair lamp of Night,2
On stirless woods, and lakes serene,3
Thou sheddest forth thy holy light ;4
With beam as pure, with ray as bright,5
As Sorrow’s tear from Woman’s breast,6
When mourning over days departed,7
That robbed her spirit of its rest,8
And left her lone, and broken-hearted.9
Refulgent pilgrim of the sky,10
Beneath thy march, within thy sight,11
What varied realms outstretching lie !12
Here landscape rich with glory bright ;13
There lonely wastes of utter blight ;14
The nightingale upon the bough15
Of cypress, here her song is pouring ;16
And there, begirt with mounts of snow,17
For food the famished bear is roaring !18
What marvel that the spirits high19
Of eastern climes, and ancient days,20
Should hail thee, as a deity,21
And altars to thine honour raise !22
So lovely wert thou to the gaze23
Of shepherds on Chaldean hills,24
When summer flowers around were springing,25
And when to thee a thousand rills,26
Throughout the quiet night were singing.27
And, lo ! the dwarfish Laplander,28
Far from his solitary home,29
Dismayed beholds the evening star,30
While many a mile remains to roam ;31
Thou lightest up the eastern dome,32
And, in his deer-drawn chariot, he33
Is hurled along the icy river ;34
And leaps his sunken heart to see35
The light in his own casement quiver.36
Nor beautiful the less art thou,37
When Ocean’s gentlest breezes fan,38
With gelid wing, the feverish glow39
That daylight sheds on Indostan !40
There, on the glittering haunts of man,41
And on the amaranthine bowers,42
The glory of thy smile reposes,43
On hedgerows, white with jessamine flowers,44
And minarets o’erhung with roses.45
The exile on a foreign shore46
Dejected sits, and turns his eye47
To thee, in beauty evermore,48
Careering through a cloudless sky ;49
A white cloud comes, and, passing bye,50
Veils thee a moment from his sight :51
Then, as he rests beneath the shadows,52
He thinks of many as sweet a night,53
When glad he roamed his native meadows.54
Through years in stayless current roll,55
Though art as full of glory yet56
As when to Shakespeare’s glowing soul,57
—Where taste, and power, and beauty met,—58
Though shon’st upon his Juliet ;59
Tipping with silver all the grove,60
And gleaming on the cheek of Beauty61
Who durst forsake, for Romeo’s love,62
The mandates of paternal duty.63
Enthroned amid the cloudless blue,64
Majestic, silent, and alone,65
Above the fountains of the dew,66
Thou glidest on, and glidest on,67
To shoreless seas, and lands unknown.68
The presence of thy face appears,69
Thou eldest born of Beauty’s daughters,70
A spirit traversing the spheres,71
And ruling o’er the pathless waters.72