O welcome, kindly moon! thy light display,
And guide a weary trav’ller on his way.
Hill, wood, and valley, brighten in her beam;
And wavy silver glitters on the stream.
The distant path-way shews distinct and clear,
From far inviting, but perplex’d when near.
For blackning shadows add deceitful length,
And lesser objects gain unwonted strength;
Each step misguiding; to the eye unknown,
The shining gutter, from the glist’ning stone;
While crossing shadows checker o’er the ground,
The more perplexing for the brightness round.
Deceitful are thy smiles, untoward Night!
Thy gloom is better than misguiding light.
Then welcome is yon cloud that onward fails,
And all this glary shew in darkness veils.
But see how soon the fleeting shade is past,
And streamy brightness moots across the waste.
Now fly the shadows borne upon the wind;
Succeeding brightness travels fast behind.
And now it low’rs again. Inconstant Night,
Confound thy freaks! be either dark or light.
Yet let them come; whate’er thy changes be,
I was a fool to put my trust in thee.
AN ADDRESS TO THE NIGHT.
A sorrowful mind.
How lone and dreary hangs the sombre Night
O’er wood and valley, stream and craggy height!
While nearer objects, bush, and waving bough,
Their dark uncertain forms but dimly show;
Like those with which disturbed fancies teem,
And shape the scen’ry of a gloomy dream.
The moon is cover’d with her sable shrowd;
And o’er the heav’us rove many a dusky cloud;
Thro’ ragged rents the paly sky is seen,
And feebly glance the twinkling stars between:
Whilst earth below is wrapt in stilly gloom,
All sad and silent as the closed tomb.
No bleating flock is heard upon the vale;
Nor lowing kine upon the open dale;
Nor voice of hunter on the lonely heath;
Nor sound of trav’ller on the distant path.
Shut is the fenced door of man’s abode;
And ruffling breezes only are abroad.
How mournful is thy voice, O nightly gale!
Across the wood, or down the narrow vale;
And sad, tho’ secret and unknown they be,
The sighs of woeful hearts that wake with thee.
For now no friends the haunts of sorrow seek;
Tears hang unchidden on the mourner’s cheek:
No side-look vexes from the curious eye;
Nor calm reproving reasoner is by;
The kindly cumbrous visitor is gone,
And laden spirits love to sigh alone.
O Night! wild sings the wind, deep low’rs the shade;
Thy robe is gloomy, and thy voice is sad:
But weary souls confin’d in earthly cell
Are deep in kindred gloom, and love thee well.