A WALK BY MOONLIGHT - Adela Florence Nicolson Cory Poems


Poems » adela florence nicolson cory » a walk by moonlight


Last night -- it was a lovely night,
    And I was very blest --
Shall it not be for Memory
    A happy spot to rest?

Yes; there are in the backward past
    Soft hours to which we turn --
Hours which, at distance, mildly shine,
    Shine on, but never burn.

And some of these but yesternight
    Across my path were thrown,
Which made my heart so very light,
    I think it could have flown.

I had been out to see a friend
    With whom I others saw:
Like minds to like minds ever tend --
    An universal law.

And when we were returning home,
    "Come who will walk with me,
A little way", I said, and lo!
    I straight was joined by three:

Three whom I loved -- two had high thoughts
    And were, in age, my peers;
And one was young, but oh! endeared
    As much as youth endears.

The moon stood silent in the sky,
    And looked upon our earth:
The clouds divided, passing by,
    In homage to her worth.

There was a dance among the leaves
    Rejoicing at her power,
Who robes for them of silver weaves
    Within one mystic hour.

There was a song among the winds,
    Hymning her influence --
That low-breathed minstrelsy which binds
    The soul to thought intense.

And there was something in the night
    That with its magic wound us;
For we -- oh! we not only saw,
    But felt the moonlight around us.

How vague are all the mysteries
    Which bind us to our earth;
How far they send into the heart
    Their tones of holy mirth;

How lovely are the phantoms dim
    Which bless that better sight,
That man enjoys when proud he stands
    In his own spirit's light;

When, like a thing that is not ours.
    This earthliness goes by,
And we behold the spiritualness
    Of all that cannot die.

'Tis then we understand the voice
    Which in the night-wind sings,
And feel the mystic melody
    Played on the forest's strings.

The silken language of the stars
    Becomes the tongue we speak,
And then we read the sympathy
    That pales the young moon's cheek.

The inward eye is open then
    To glories, which in dreams
Visit the sleeper's couch, in robes
    Woven of the rainbow's beams.

I bless my nature that I am
    Allied to all the bliss,
Which other worlds we're told afford,
    But which I find in this.

My heart is bettered when I feel
    That even this human heart
To all around is gently bound,
    And forms of all a part;

That, cold and lifeless as they seem,
    The flowers, the stars, the sky
Have more than common minds may deem
    To stir our sympathy.

Oh! in such moments can I crush
    The grass beneath my feet?
Ah no; the grass has then a voice,
    Its heart -- I hear it beat.