A Celebration of Women Writers

"To The Moon." by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
Publication: The Writings of Jane Taylor, In Five Volumes by Jane Taylor. Volume I, Memoirs and Poetical Remains.. Edited by Isaac Taylor, Jr., of Stanford Rivers. Boston: Perkins & Marvin, 1832. pp. 291-292.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

TO THE MOON.

WHAT is it that gives thee, mild Queen of the Night,
  That secret intelligent grace?
O why should I gaze with such tender delight,
  On thy fair, but insensible face?

What gentle enchantment possesses thy beam,
  Beyond the warm sunshine of day?
Thy bosom is cold as the glittering stream,
  Where dances thy tremulous ray.

Canst thou the sad heart of its sorrow beguile,
  Or grief's fond indulgence suspend?
Yet where is the mourner but welcomes thy smile,
  And loves thee almost as a friend?

The tear that looks bright in thy beam as it flows
  Unmoved thou dost ever behold:
The sorrow that loves in thy light to repose,
  To thee it has never been told.

And yet thou dost soothe me, and ever I find,
  While watching thy gentle retreat,

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A moonlight composure steal over the mind,
  Poetical, pensive, and sweet.

I think of the years that forever are fled,
  Of follies by others forgot;
Of joys that are vanished, of hopes that are dead,
  Of friendships that were, and are not.

I think of the future–still gazing the while,
  As thou couldst those secrets reveal:
But ne'er dost thou grant an encouraging smile,
  To answer the mournful appeal.

Those beams which so bright through my casement appear,
  To far distant scenes they extend;
Illumine the dwellings of those that are dear,
  And sleep on the grave of my friend.

Then still must I love thee, mild Queen of the Night,
  Since feeling and fancy agree
To make thee a source of unfailing delight,
  A friend and a solace to me.

    1811.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom