A Moon Poem

I saw thee once- once only- years ago:
I must not say how many- but not

many.

It was a July midnight; and from out
A full-orbed moon, that like thine own

soul soaring,

Sought a precipitate pathway up through

heaven,

There fell a silvery silken veil of light,
With quietude, and sultriness and

slumber,

Upon the upturn’d faces of a thousand
Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
Where no wind dared to stir, unless on

tiptoe-

Fell on the upturn’d faces of these

roses

That gave out, in return for the love-

light,

Their odorous souls in an ecstatic

death-

Fell on the upturned faces of these

roses

That smiled and died in this parterre,

enchanted

by thee, and by the poetry of thy

presence.

Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
I saw thee half-reclining; while the

moon

Fell on the upturn’d faces of the roses,
And on thine own, upturn’d- alas, in

sorrow!

Was it not Fate, that, on this July mid-

night-

Was it not Fate (whose name is also

Sorrow),

That bade me pause before that garden-

gate,

To breathe the incense of those slum-

bering roses?

No footstep stirred: the hated world

all slept,

Save only thee and me. I paused- I

looked-

And in an instant all things disap-

peared.

(Ah, bear in mind this garden was

enchanted!)

The pearly lustre of the moon went

out:

The mossy banks and the meandering

paths,

The happy flowers and the repining

trees,

Were seen no more: the very roses’

odours

Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
All- all expired save thee- save less

than thou:

Save only the devine light in thine

eyes.

I saw but them- they were the world

to me.

I saw but them- saw only them for

hours-

Saw only them till the moon went

down.

What wild heart-histories seemed to lie

enwritten

Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
How dark a woe! yet how sublime a

hope!

How silently serene a sea of pride!
How adoring an ambition! yet how

deep-

How fathomless a capacity for love!
But now, at length, dear Dian sank

from sight,

Into the western couch of a thunder-cloud;
And thou, a ghost, amid entombing

trees

Didst glide away. only thine eyes

Remained.

They would not go- they never yet

have gone.

Lighting my lonely pathway home that

night,

They have not left me (as my hopes have) since.
They follow me- they lead me through

the years.

They are my ministers- yet I their

slave.

Their office is to illuminate and enkindle-
My duty, to be saved by their bright

light

And purified in their electric fire,
And sanctified in their elysian fire.
They fill my soul with Beauty (which

is Hope.)

And are far up in Heaven- the stars

I kneel to

In the sad, slient watches of my night;
While even in the meridian glare of day
I see them still- two sweetly scintillant
Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!

Edgar Allen Poe

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6 thoughts on “A Moon Poem

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