Bayard Taylor image

Bayard Taylor

Jan. 11, 1825 - Dec 19, 1878


Under The Moon

by Bayard Taylor


From you and home I sleep afar,
Under the light of a lonely star,
Under the moon that marvels why
Away from you and home I lie.
Ah! love no language can declare,
The hovering warmth, the tender care,
The yielding, sweet, invisible air
That clasps your bosom, and fans your cheek
With the breath of words I cannot speak, --
Such love I give, such warmth impart:
The fragrance of a blossomed heart.


The moon looks in upon my bed,
Her yearning glory rays my head,
And round me clings, a lonely light,
The aureole of the winter night;
But in my heart a gentle pain,
A balmier splendor in my brain,
Lead me beyond the frosty plane, --
Lead me afar, to mellower skies,
There under the moon a palace lies;
There under the moon our bed is made,
Half in splendor and half in shade.


The marble flags of the corridor
Through open windows meet the floor,
And Moorish arches in darkness rise
Against the gleam of the silver skies:
Beyond, in flakes of starry light,
A fountain prattles to the night,
And dusky cypresses, withdrawn
In silent conclave, stud the lawn;
While mystic woodlands, more remote,
In seas of airy silver float,
So hung in heaven, the stars that set
Seem glossy leaves the dew has wet
On topmost boughs, and sparkling yet.


In from the terraced garden blows
The spicy soul of the tuberose,
As if 't were the odor of strains that pour
From the nightingale's throat as never before;
For he sings not now of wounding thorn,
He sings as the lark in the golden morn, --
A song of joy, a song of bliss,
Passionate notes that clasp and kiss,
Perfect peace and perfect pride,
Love rewarded and satisfied,
For I see you, darling, at my side.


I see you, darling, at my side:
I clasp you closer, in sacred pride.
I shut my eyes, my senses fail,
Becalmed by Night's ambrosial gale.
Softer than dews the planets weep,
Descends a sweeter peace than sleep;
All wandering sounds and motions die
In the silent glory of the sky;
But, as the moon goes down the West,
Your heart, against my happy breast,
Says in its beating: Love is Rest.


The Poet's Journal
Copyright 1863
Ticknor and Fields, Boston