13 October, 2011

A Night Piece

Hunter's Moon October 2011

A Night Piece

by William Wordsworth

composed 1798, published 1815

--The sky is overcast

With a continuous cloud of texture close,

Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,

Which through that veil is indistinctly seen,

A dull, contracted circle, yielding light

So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,

Chequering the ground--from rock, plant, tree, or tower

At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam

Startles the pensive traveller while he treads

His lonesome path, with unobserving eye

Bent earthwards; he looks up--the clouds are split

Asunder,--and above his head he sees

The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens.

There, in a black-blue vault she sails along,

Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small

And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss

Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away,

Yet vanish not!--the wind is in the tree,

But they are silent;--still they roll along

Immeasurably distant; and the vault,

Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,

Still deepens its unfathomable depth.

At length the Vision closes; and the mind,

Not undisturbed by the delight it feels,

Which slowly settles into peaceful calm,

Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.

Placed by Wordsworth among his "Poems of the Imagination" printed in the "Lyrical Ballads"

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