HESE many months half hopelessly
From dune and cliff and shingle
I had watched the shining west, to see
That star which will not mingle
With other stars--the evening one,
The radiant follower of the sun.
Filled full of liquid amber light,
Above the breakers' onset,
Unclouded, vast, serene, tonight
The giant flower of sunset
Unfolded all its purity
And high perfection over me.
The crescent moon but three days old
Upon that airy splendor
Swam like a silver shell.--Behold,
What light more pure, more tender,
If such can be, began to shine
Low down above the ocean-line!
Untwinkling, O how softly pure!
How radiantly tender!
Too lovely for a man to endure:
I thought I would surrender
My very life, my very soul,
For anything so beautiful.
Like one half mad I walked the dune;
I could not watch my footing,
I could not see the crescent moon,
But only Venus floating
Low down, low down. She set too soon;
Then I beheld the little moon.
I stood beside the cove that lies
Below the Promontory.
There shone, there took me by surprise,
The crescent clothed in glory;
Between the cliffbrow and the wave
Shone, like a candle in a cave.