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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Moonlight

As a pale phantom with a lamp 
Ascends some ruin's haunted stair, 
So glides the moon along the damp 
Mysterious chambers of the air. 

Now hidden in cloud, and now revealed, 
As if this phantom, full of pain, 
Were by the crumbling walls concealed, 
And at the windows seen again. 

Until at last, serene and proud 
In all the splendor of her light, 
She walks the terraces of cloud, 
Supreme as Empress of the Night. 

I look, but recognize no more 
Objects familiar to my view; 
The very pathway to my door 
Is an enchanted avenue. 

All things are changed. One mass of shade, 
The elm-trees drop their curtains down; 
By palace, park, and colonnade 
I walk as in a foreign town. 

The very ground beneath my feet 
Is clothed with a diviner air; 
While marble paves the silent street 
And glimmers in the empty square. 

Illusion! Underneath there lies 
The common life of every day; 
Only the spirit glorifies 
With its own tints the sober gray. 

In vain we look, in vain uplift 
Our eyes to heaven, if we are blind; 
We see but what we have the gift 
Of seeing; what we bring we find. 

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Added: Jun 9 2005 | Viewed: 631 times | Comments and analysis of Moonlight by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Comments (50)

Moonlight - Comments and Information

Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poem: Moonlight
Volume: In the Harbor

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