TO THE MOON.
1 ALL hail! majestic Queen of Night,
2 Bright Cynthia! sweetest Nymph, whose presence brings
3 The pensive pleasures, calm delight,
4 While Contemplation smooths her ruffled wings,
5 Which Folly's vain tumultuous joys,
6 Or business, care, and buzz of lusty day
7 Have all too ruffled. — Hence away
8 Stale Jest, and flippant Mirth, and Strife-engendering Noise. [Page 98]
9 When Evening dons her mantle grey,
10 I'll wind my solitary way,
11 And hie me to some lonely grove
12 (The haunt of Fancy and of Love)
13 Whose social branches, far outspread,
14 Possess the mind with pleasing dread.
15 While Cynthia quivers thro' the trees
16 That wanton with the summer breeze,
17 And the clear brook, or dimpled stream,
18 Reflects oblique her dancing beam.
19 How often, by thy silver light,
20 Have lovers tongues beguil'd the Night?
21 When forth the happy pair have stray'd,
22 The amorous swain and tender maid,
23 And as they walk'd the groves along,
24 Chear'd the still eve with various song.
25 While every artful strain confest
26 The mutual passion in their breast.
27 To lovers hours fly swift away,
28 And Night reluctant yields to Day.
29 Thrice happy Nymph, thrice happy Youth,
30 When Beauty is the meed of Truth!
31 Yet not the happy Loves alone,
32 Has thy celestial presence known.
33 To thee complains the Nymph forlorn
34 Of broken faith, and vows forsworn;
35 And, the dull Swain, with folded arms,
36 Still musing on his false one's charms,[Page 99]
37 Frames many a sonnet to her name,
38 (As lovers use to express their flame)
39 Or pining wan with thoughtful care,
40 In downcast silence feeds Despair;
41 Or when the air dead stillness keeps,
42 And Cynthia on the water sleeps;
43 Charms the dull ear of sober night,
44 With love-born Music's sweet delight.
45 Oft as thy orb performs its round,
46 Thou listenest to the various sound
47 Of Shepherds hopes and Maidens fears
48 (Those conscious Cynthia silent hears
49 While Echo, which still loves to mock,
50 Bears them about from rock to rock).
51 But shift we now the pensive scene,
52 Where Cynthia silvers o'er the green.
53 Mark yonder spot, whose equal rim
54 Forms the green circle quaint and trim;
55 Hither the Fairies blithe advance,
56 And lightly trip in mazy dance;
57 Beating the pansie-paven ground
58 In frolic measures round and round;
59 These Cynthia's Revels gaily keep,
60 While lazy mortals snore asleep;
61 Whom oft they visit in the night,
62 Not visible to human sight;
63 And as old prattling Wives relate,
64 Tho' now the fashion's out of date,[Page 100]
65 Drop sixpence in the Housewife's shoe,
66 And pinch the Slattern black and blue.
67 They fill the mind with airy schemes,
68 And bring the Ladies pleasant dreams.
69 Who knows not Mab, whose chariot glides,
70 And athwart men's noses rides?
71 While Oberon, blithe Fairy, trips,
72 And hovers o'er the ladies lips;
73 And when he steals ambrosial bliss,
74 And soft imprints the charming kiss,
75 In Dreams the nymph her swain pursues,
76 Nor thinks 'tis Oberon that wooes.
77 Ye sportive Youth, and lovely Fair,
78 From hence, my lesson read, beware,
79 While Innocence and Mirth preside,
80 We care not where the Fairies glide;
81 And Oberon will never miss
82 To greet his favourites with a kiss;
83 Nor ever more ambrosia sips,
84 Than when he visits — 's lips.
85 When all things else in silence sleep,
86 The blithsome Elfs their vigils keep,
87 And always hover round about,
88 To find our worth or frailties out.
89 Receive with joy these Elfin sparks,
90 Their kisses leave no tell-tale marks,
91 But breathe fresh beauty o'er the face,
92 Where all is virtue, all is grace.
93 Not only elfin fays delight
94 To hail the sober Queen of Night,
95 But that sweet bird, whose gurgling throat
96 Warbles the thick melodious note,
97 Duly as evening shades prevail,
98 Renews her soothing love-lorn tale.
99 And as the Lover pensive goes,
100 Chaunts out her symphony of woes.
101 Which in boon Nature's wilder tone,
102 Beggar all sounds which Art has known.
103 But hist — the melancholy bird
104 Among the groves no more is heard;
105 And Cynthia pales her silver ray
106 Before th' approach of golden Day,
107 Which on yon mountain's misty height
108 Stands tiptoe with his gladsome light.
109 Now the shrill lark in aether floats,
110 And carols wide her liquid notes;
111 While Phoebus, in his lusty pride,
112 His flaming beams flings far and wide.
113 Cynthia farewell — the pensive Muse
114 No more her feeble flight pursues,
115 But all unwilling takes her way,
116 And mixes with the buzz of Day: