As played by Mark Hambourg
Warm is this moonlight! Like a rippling flood
It softens all the landscape; the high towers
Are bathed in its effulgence. Here and there
It smites a deeper blueness to a pool,
Or makes the gross still brighter in its rays,
Like fine green rain from some pale Indian moon
Seen on the ocean, ere the sun has set.
It spreads across the world; it lips the rim
Of Heaven, until music melts with stars
And meets and mingles with the angel choirs
And in a vision, Beethoven is there
Beside a painted window, waiting Her
Who was his inspiration and his love!
Oh! there was never one moon fair as this!
It is the essence of a thousand moons,
That saw proud Cleopatra on the Nile,
Or Juliet leaning from a balcony.
Its light has drenched the tombs of Egypt's Kings,
Its light has kissed the lips of Pharaoh's Queens,
And turned to gold the shackles of a slave
Till she could almost dream herself a Queen,
Bound only with the chains that passion made.
Upon a lonely plain where Sargon rode,
Such moons have helped him to a high emprise;
Shone on the Alps and spurred swart Hannibal
Who with his fighting elephants has passed,
Each swaying trunk outlined n silver wire,
Each tusk tipped with the gildings of the moon.
It has made lovelier the Taj Mahal,
Or danced with pixy wings among the leaves
Of over-hanging jungles. On bare heights
Where the Pan-Buddhists note the flights of birds,
Such moonshine must have brought them close to God.
By hoary castles on the storied Rhine
It has spilled silver coins for Lorelei,
And combed their hair with fingers made of light.
There is so much of kindness in its flow
So much of healing, tenderness, and rest,
That I can scarce believe its fount is here
In mortal hands upon mere ivory keys!
First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 June 1931