Mountain Moonlight by S. Elliott Napier

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The weary sun stoops westward to a bed
Made glorious for his coming; and the clouds,
All flush'd with pride, close-curtain him around.
There comes a sigh, as from a giant's breast--
A whispered parting to the dying day--
And all the world is waiting breathlessly.
High up above the sudden tree-clad gorge,
Half-hidden, now, beneath a veil of haze,
I watch the shadow of the coming Night
Sweep o'er the crowded maze of mountain tops,
Which crouch beneath it like a cluster'd brood
Stiffen'd in terror of a passing hawk.
The darkness deepens, and a few first stars
Who boldly note the absence of their lord
Shine out the message to a mighty host
Who follow shyly, till the whole vast vault
Is litter'd with their bright battalions.
And now the moon, holding her gleaming lamp,
Climbs up the azure steeps and puts to rout
The nearer and the lesser lights, who hide
Before the searching splendour of her beams.
O, witchery and wonder of the Night!
O, majesty and magic of the Moon,
The trees put on a livery of gold,
The silent hills are eloquent with light
And all the Earth is robed with grammarye.
This is the faery hour; and this the place
Where all the webs of mystery are spun,
Where Romance walks abroad and dreams come true.
I hear the horns of Oberon, and watch
The coming of Titania and her train;
Bacchantes, purple-mouth'd, with loose-flung hair,
Chase old Silenus and his panting crew,
While Goat-Foot passes, piping to his fauns.
Swift Paculet and Puck go leering by,
And Proserpine -- her lilies all restored--
Takes hand with Perdlta; and there I see
The Little People dancing in the fern.
All these and all their radiant kin are here
And walk with me to-night beneath the moon;
And as the perfum'd hours wend on their way
Their soft, mysterious, myriad voices blend
In sighs not sad, in laughter link'd with tears,
In whisper'd shy confessions, and in song.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 1926

Author: Sydney Elliott Napier (1870-1940) was born in Sydney, New South Wales, and was educated at Sydney University where he trained as a solicitor.  He served with the AIF during World War I and began work as a freelance journalist on his return to Australia. He died in Chatswood, New South Wales, in 1940.

Author reference sites: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 17, 2011 10:41 AM.

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