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The Oceanides, Edited by Judith Pascoe

 

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SUNSET AND NIGHT.

By Mrs. Fletcher.

     BEAUTIFUL ! O beautiful!
When his blaze of glory done,
In the Tropics sinks the Sun!
Not, as at his noon, untended
By a veiling cloud; or blended,
As at morn, with shadows dim,
Waiting for their light from him:—
But, in a pavilion rare,
Of amber, and empurpled air,
Golden dews, and vapours fair,
Girt about with gorgeous clouds,
Vast and towering, yet in crowds,
Each some form of glory taking;
Each some splendid vision waking.
Sea and Heaven, depth and height,
Met in such harmonious light,
Gemmed with colours so intense
In their soft magnificence,
That the painter’s spirit dies,
Loving what his art defies,
And the raptured vision sees
Paradise upon the seas!

There, in that cloud-garden glows
All the richness of the rose;
There, meandering, seem to run
Rivers that have washed the Sun,
Or, instead of common mould,
Wandered over beds of gold.
There, are dark stupendous rocks,
Riven as with thunder shocks;
A gigantic granite band,
Frowning on some lovely land,
Strength in Desolation’s hand!
There, again, are milder seen,
And amongst them, intervene
Level plains of boundless span,
Broken, as by caravan
With its winding dusky line,
That the eye may scarce define,
Merchant, camel, slave, and steed,
Bending on with laden speed
To some city far before,
Such as once on India's shore
Dazzled many a conqueror’s eyes,
Till he drew and won the prize.
Treasuries of wealth and bloom,
Deserts now, of wreck and gloom;
Passed away, as pass ere long
Yon glowing clouds, this feeble song.

    Beautiful! O beautiful!
Night upon the Tropic skies!
Whether the full Moon arise
Ere the gorgeous West be pale,
And she shines, as if a veil
Golden tissued, and a zone
Grained with fire, were round her thrown;
All her clouds of simple white,
With the sun’s own color dight,
Yet amid that lustrous keen
Flecked with such delicious green,
Ocean wears an emerald sheen.

Lovely too, at midnight’s noon,
'Tis to see the waning Moon,
Rise above a ridge of cloud,
Fair, yet spectral, wan and proud;
Holding in her radiant rim
Her bright former self, now dim,
Traced unto the gazer’s sight
Only by a thread of light;
While a thousand lesser stars,
And the two of strength and love,
Venus, and broad-flashing Jove,
Shine, and cast a light below,
As if they usurped her glow.
A silver light on peaceful waters,
Too often dark with storm and slaughters.

Thus to wander night and day,
Through the Tropics’ sunny way,
    Beautiful! O Beautiful!

 


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Published @ RC

November 2003

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