The moon from solemn azure sky
Looked down on earth below,
And coldly her wan light fell alike
On scenes of joy and woe:
A stately palace reared its dome,
Within reigned warmth and light
And festive mirth—the moon’s faint rays
Soft kissed its marble white.
A little farther was the home
Of toil, alas! and want,
That spectre grim that countless hearths
Seems ceaselessly to haunt;
And yet, as if in mocking mirth,
She smiled on that drear spot,
Silvering brightly the ruined eaves
And roof of that poor cot.
And then, with curious gaze, she looked
Within a curtained loom,
Where sat a girl of gentle mien
In young life’s early bloom;
Her glitt’ring light made still more bright
The veil and bridal flower,
Which were to wreathe the girl’s fair brow
In the morrow’s solemn hour.
With changeless smile she gleamed within
A casement, gloomy, lone,
Where lay a cold and rigid form,
A death bed stretched upon.
The fixed gaze of the half closed eyes,
The forehead chill and white,
The shroud and pall, more ghastly looked,
Wrapped thus in still, silv’ry light.
Long, sadly, gazed I, then a thought,
Sharp, bitter, filled my heart
’Gainst that cold orb, which in our joys
And sorrows took no part;
Which shone as bright o’er couch of death,
In prison’s darkened gloom,
As o’er the festal scenes of earth,
Or stately palace room.
An inward voice reproved the thought,
And whispered, soft and low,
“Unto that glorious orb ’twas given
Its Maker’s power to show.
Throughout long ages has it shone
With pure, undying flame,
His will obeying Dreamer, go,
And do thou, too, the same!”