A Vision of Moonlight
O silver splendor, marvelous!
Transfigured is the rare blue sky,
Where cloudlets crowned with amber mist,
Glide to a whispered music by.
What seem they, circling round the spheres,
Swans that majestically sway?
Or weird white ships far out at sea,
With lamps hung up to light the way?
Or are they rather, like the bright,
Fantastic wreaths of feathery spray,
Revealing gleams of ringlets gold,
Tossed by the mermaids in their play?
A pearly shimmer lies within
The rose's petals folded up;
Shy lilies peep through river-reeds,
With liquid sweetness in their cup.
A fleecy, opal-tinted veil
Hangs on the waters sleeping calm;
Fountains of rainbow sheen fling high
Their cadence mellowed to a psalm.
As hope upspringing in the breast
Irradicates the human face,
E'en so the moonlight's mystic glow
Sheds o'er all things unwonted grace.
The soul is nobler for great thoughts,
The heart is richer for love's boon,
The flowers are brighter for the dew,
The sky is rarer for the moon.
O solemn silence! do the leaves
Stop rustling to enjoy the scene?
Do waves, all tremulous with sound,
Pause to adore, their hymns between?
O tranquil moonlight! as some strains
Suggest a master-spirit's song,
Thy beauty pure, impalpable,
Must to celestial spheres belong.
O glory royal, marvelous!
Thou may'st perhaps the shadow be
Of glory all-surpassing, that
Streams from God's throne eternally.