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A NIGHT-PIECE.

167

A NIGHT-PIECE.

-THE sky is overcast With a continuous cloud of texture close, Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon Which through that veil is indistinctly seen, A dull contracted circle, yielding light So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls, Chequering the ground-from rock, plant, tree, or tower. At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam Startles the pensive traveller while he treads His lonesome path, with unobserving eye Bent earthwards; he looks up—the clouds are split Asunder,-and above his head he sees The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens. There, in a black-blue vault, she sails along Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away, Yet vanish not !-the wind is in the tree, But they are silent;-still they roll along Immeasurably distant; and the vault, Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds, Still deepens its unfathomable depth. At length the Vision closes; and the mind, Not undisturbed by the delight it feels, Which slowly settles into peaceful calm, Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.

W. Wordsworth.

168

NIGHT IN THE DESERT.

NIGHT IN THE DESERT.

How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,

Breaks the serene of heaven:
In full orbed glory yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark blue depths:

Beneath her steady ray

The desert-circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.
How beautiful is night!

R. Southey.

TO THE MOON.

ART thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,

Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,

And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

P. B. Shelley.

THE MOON.

169

THE MOON.

How beautiful the Queen of Night, on high
Her way pursuing among scatter'd clouds,
Where, ever and anon, her head she shrouds
Hidden from view in dense obscurity!
But look, and to the watchful eye
A brightening edge will indicate that soon
We shall behold the struggling Moon
Break forth,-again to walk the clear blue sky.

W. Wordsworth.

THE WORLD'S WANDERERS.

TELL me, thou star, whose wings of light
Speed thee in thy fiery flight,
In what cavern of the night

Will thy pinions close now!

Tell me, moon, thou pale and grey
Pilgrim of heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of night or day

Seekest thou repose now?

Weary wind, who wanderest
Like the world's rejected guest,
Hast thou still some secret nest
On the tree or billow!

P. B. Shelley.

170

HYMN TO THE NIGHT.

HYMN TO THE NIGHT.

Ασπασίη, τρίλλιστος.
I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night

Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light

From the celestial walls !

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,

Stoop o’er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,

As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,

The manifold, soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,

Like some old poet's rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air

My spirit drank repose;
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, -

From those deep cisterns flows.

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear

What man has borne before!
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,

And they complain no more.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!

Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-belovéd Night!

H. W. Longfellow.

DATUR HORA QUIETI.

171

DATUR HORA QUIETI.

THE sun upon the lake is low,

The wild birds hush their song,
The hills have evening's deepest glow,

Yet Leonard tarries long.
Now all whom varied toil and care

From home and love divide,
In the calm sunset may repair

Each to the loved one's side.

The noble dame on turret high,

Who waits her gallant knight,
Looks to the western beam to spy

The flash of armour bright.
The village maid, with hand on brow

The level ray to shade,
Upon the footpath watches now

For Colin's darkening plaid.

Now to their mates the wild swans row,

By day they swam apart,
And to the thicket wanders slow

The hind beside the hart.
The woodlark at his partner's side

Twitters his closing song-
All meet whom day and care divide,

But Leonard tarries long!

Sir W. Scott.

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