But now the veiling darkness passes by;
The moon unclouded holds the middle sky.
A soft and mellow light is o’er the wood;
And silv’ry pureness sparkles on the flood.
White tow’r the clifts from many a craggy breach;
The brown heath shews afar its dreary stretch.
While fairer as the brighten’d object swells,
Fast by its side the darker shadow dwells:
The lofty mountains form the deeper glade,
And keener light but marks the blacker made.
Then welcome yonder clouds that swiftly sail,
And o’er yon glary op’ning draw the veil.
But, ah! too swiftly flies the friendly shade!
Returning brightness travels up the glade,
And all is light again. O fickle Night!
No traveller is here to bless thy light.
I seek nor home, nor shed; I have no way;
Why send thy beams to one who cannot stray?
Or wood, or desert, is the same to me;
O low’r again, and let me rest with thee!
AN ADDRESS TO THE NIGHT.
A joyful mind.
The warping gloom of night is gather’d round;
And varied darkness marks the uneven ground.
A dimmer shade is on the mountain’s brow,
And deeper low’rs the lengthen’d vale below;
While nearer objects all enlarged and dark,
Their strange and shapeless forms uncouthly mark;
Which thro’ muddy night are dimly shown,
Like old companions in a garb unknown.
The heavy sheeted clouds are spread on high,
And streaky darkness bounds the farther sky:
And swift along the lighter vagrants sweep,
Whilst clear stars thro’ their riven edges peep.
Soft thro’ each ragged breach, and streamy rent,
And open gaps in dusky circle pent,
The upper heaven looks serenely bright
In dappled gold, and snowy fleeces dight:
And on the middle current lightly glides
The lesser cloud, with silver wreathy sides.
In sudden gusts awakes the nightly breeze
Across the wood, and rustles thro’ the trees;
Or whistles on the plain with eddying sweep;
Or issues from the glen in wailings deep,
Which die away upon the open vale:
Whilst in the pauses of the ruffling gale
The buzzing night-fly rises from the ground,
And wings his flight in many a mazy round;
And lonely owls begin their nightly strain,
So hateful to the ear of ’nighted swain.
Thou do’st the weary trav’ller mislead;
Thy voice is roughsome, and uncooth thy weed,
O gloomy Night! for black thy shadows be,
And fools have rais’d a bad report on thee.
Yet art thou free and friendly to the gay,
And light hearts prize thee equal to the day.