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THE Moon shines white and silent
On the mist, which, like a tide Of some enchanted ocean,
O'er the wide marsh doth glide, Spreading its ghost-like billows
Silently far and wide.
A vague and starry magic
Makes all things mysteries,
And lures the earth's dumb spirit
Up to the longing skies,—
I seem to hear dim whispers,
And tremulous replies.
The fire-flies o'er the meadow
In pulses come and go ; The elm-trees' heavy shadow
Weighs on the grass below; And faintly from the distance
The dreaming cock doth crow.
All things look strange and mystic,
The very bushes swell,
And take wild shapes and motions,
As if beneath a spell,
They seem not the same lilacs
From childhood known so well.
The snow of deepest silence
O'er every thing doth fall, So beautiful and quiet,
And yet so like a pall,— As if all life were ended,
And rest were come to all.
0, wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
Midnight at the Siege of Corinth.
'Tis Midnight : on the mountains brown
The cold round moon shines deeply down;
Blue roll the waters, blue the sky
Spreads like an ocean hung on high,
Bespangled with those isles of light, .
So wildly, spiritually bright;
Who ever gazed upon them shining
And turn'd to earth without repining,
Nor wish'd for wings to flee away,
Aud mix with their eternal ray?
The waves on either shore lay there,
Calm, clear, and azure as the air ;
And scarce their foam the pebbles shook,
But murmur'd meekly as the brook.
The winds were pillow'd on the waves ;
The banners droop'd along their staves,
And, as they fell around them furling,
Above them shone the crescent curling ;
And that deep silence was unbroke,
Save where the watch his signal spoke ;
Save where the steed neigh'd oft and shrill,
And echo answer'd from the hill,
And the wild hum of that wild host
Rustled like leaves from coast to coast,
As rose the Muezzin's * voice in air
In midnight call to wonted prayer.
LOOK, the world's comforter, with weary gait,
His day's hot task has ended in the west:
The Owl, Night's berald, shrieks—'tis very late ;
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest;
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light,
Do summon us to part, and bid good-night.
SHAKESPEARE. *Muezzin, one appointed by the Turks (who do not use bells) to summon by his voice the religious to their devotions.
THE Poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as IMAGINATION bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
. . Whose heart The holy forms of young Imagination have kept pure.
Away with weary cares and themes!
Swing wide the moonlit gate of dreams!
Leave free once more the land which teems
With wonders and romances!
Where thou, with clear discerning eyes,
Shalt rightly read the truth which lies
Beneath the quaintly-masked guise
of wild and wizard Fancies.
O BLEST of heaven! whom not the languid songs
Of luxury, the siren! not the bribes
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageaut honour, can seduce to leave
Those ever blooming sweets, which from the store
Of Nature fair imagination culls
To charm the enliven'd soul! What! though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state ?
Yet Nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptured gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds : for him the hand
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;