The flush of green that dyed the day
Hath vanished in the moon;
Flower-scents float stronger out, and play
An unborn, coming tune.
One southern eve like this, the dew
Had cooled and left the ground;
The moon hung half-way from the blue,
No disc, but conglobed round;
Light-leaved acacias, by the door,
Bathed in the balmy air,
Clusters of blossomed moonlight bore,
And breathed a perfume rare;
Great gold-flakes from the starry sky
Fell flashing on the deep:
One scent of moist earth floating by,
Almost it made me weep.
Those gorgeous stars were not my own,
They made me alien go!
The mother o’er her head had thrown
A veil I did not know!
The moon-blanched fields that seaward went,
The palm-flung, dusky shades,
Bore flowering grasses, knotted, bent,
No slender, spear-like blades.
I longed to see the starry host
Afar in fainter blue;
But plenteous grass I missed the most,
With daisies glimmering through.
The common things were not the same!
I longed across the foam:
From dew-damp earth that odour came—
I knew the world my home.
The stars are glad in gulfy space—
Friendly the dark to them!
From day’s deep mine, their hiding-place,
Night wooeth every gem.
A thing for faith ‘mid labour’s jar,
When up the day is furled,
Shines in the sky a light afar,
Mayhap a home-filled world.
Sometimes upon the inner sky
We catch a doubtful shine:
A mote or star? A flash in the eye
Or jewel of God’s mine?
A star to us, all glimmer and glance,
May teem with seraphim:
A fancy to our ignorance
May be a truth to Him.
The night is damp and warm and still,
And soft with summer dreams;
The buds are bursting at their will,
And shy the half moon gleams.
My soul is cool, as bathed within
By dews that silent weep—
Like child that has confessed his sin,
And now will go to sleep.
My body ages, form and hue;
But when the spring winds blow,
My spirit stirs and buds anew,
Younger than long ago.
Lord, make me more a child, and more,
Till Time his own end bring,
And out of every winter sore
I pass into thy spring.
© George MacDonald