“Musings in the Moonlight.”

[From the New York Tribune]



In the clear September moonlight
Dark the eastern mountains rise,
And the River, calm as ever
One broad lake of silver lies.

Like a frame the leafy garden
Clasps the dreamy picture round,
And I gaze and gaze forever
By the spell of beauty bound.

O’er the Water’s burnished mirror
Darkly glide the shadowed ships,
So the glowing Past is shaded
By our gliding thought’s eclipse.

Bright, broad River-flow forever
In the moonlight to the sea.
But those joyous days thou never,
Never can’st bring back to me.

See! the frame the leafy garden
Arches round the pictured scene,
Like a cypress wreath is growing
Dart—too dark for this—I ween.

One, who wreathed the lovely landscape
With the green and shady bowers,
Put away—away forever
With his fleeting garden flowers.

And the lawn beneath the linden,
And the shrubs and vines so green,
And the fragrant beds or roses,
And the winding paths between;

And the house in beauy bowered,
Rare in beauty of its own—
Ne’er again may hear the music
Of those days forever flown;

Ne’er again shall hear the murmur
Of the joyous company
Whom those festal days of summer
Crowned with mirth and melody.

Silent River—sadly flowing!
Shadowed sails like thoughts of pain
Slowly cross thy gleaming silver,
But they catch the light again.

Darkly bend the mountains o’er thee,
Dim and dusky in the night,
But their summits woo the moonbeams,
And are touched with heavenly light.

Life is rich and Nature lavish,
Providence is large as Fate.
Many a joy they hide in secret
For the lone and desolate.

After sunset clouds of crimson,
After twilight comes the moon,
After moon-set still the starlight,
Still the morning’s daily boon.

And the cloud that lowers the darkest
Holds the blessing of the rain—
And the grief that stuns the deepest
Hath another touch than pain.

NEWBURGH, Sept. 28, 1852.