Moonlight

by


    As a pale phantom with a lamp
        Ascends some ruin's haunted stair,
    So glides the moon along the damp
        Mysterious chambers of the air.

    Now hidden in cloud, and now revealed,
        As if this phantom, full of pain,
    Were by the crumbling walls concealed,
        And at the windows seen again.

    Until at last, serene and proud
        In all the splendor of her light,
    She walks the terraces of cloud,
        Supreme as Empress of the Night.

    I look, but recognize no more
        Objects familiar to my view;
    The very pathway to my door
        Is an enchanted avenue.

    All things are changed.    One mass of shade,
        The elm-trees drop their curtains down;
    By palace, park, and colonnade
        I walk as in a foreign town.

    The very ground beneath my feet
        Is clothed with a diviner air;
    White marble paves the silent street
        And glimmers in the empty square.

    Illusion!    Underneath there lies
        The common life of every day;
    Only the spirit glorifies
        With its own tints the sober gray.

    In vain we look, in vain uplift
        Our eyes to heaven, if we are blind,
    We see but what we have the gift
        Of seeing; what we bring we find.

9

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Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson