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"Songs by the Way"
The Poetical Writings of the Right Rev. George Washington Doane, D.D., LL.D.

Arranged and Edited by His Son, William Croswell Doane

New York: D. Appleton, 1860.


THAT silent moon, that silent moon,
      Careering now, through cloudless sky;
Oh! who shall tell, what varied scenes
      Have passed beneath her placid eye;
Since first, to light this wayward earth,
She walked, in tranquil beauty, forth!

How oft, has guilt's unhallowed hand,
      And superstition's senseless rite,
And loud, licentious revelry,
Profaned her pure and holy light:
      Small sympathy is hers, I ween,
With sights like these, that Virgin Queen!

But dear to her, in summer eve,
      By rippling wave, or tufted grove,
When hand, in hand, is purely clasped,
      And heart meets heart, in holy love;
To smile in quiet loneliness
And hear each whispered vow, and bless.

Dispersed along the world's wide way,
      When friends are far, and fond ones rove,
How powerful she, to wake the thought,
      And start the tear, for those we love,
Who watch with us, at night's pale noon,
And gaze upon that silent moon.

How powerful too, to hearts that mourn,
      The magic of that moonlight sky,
To bring again the vanish'd scenes--
      The happy eves of days gone by:
Again to bring, 'mid bursting tears,
The loved, the lost of other years.

And oft she looks, that silent moon,
      On lonely eyes, that wake to weep,
In dungeon dark, or sacred cell,
      Or couch, whence, pain has banished sleep:
Oh! softly, beams her gentle eye
On those who mourn, and those who die!

But beam, on whomsoe'er she will,
      And fall, where'er her splendours may,
There's pureness, in her chastened light,
      There's comfort, in her tranquil ray:
What power is hers, to soothe the heart--
What power, the trembling tear to start!

The dewy morn, let others love,--
      Or bask them, in the noon-tide ray;
There's not an hour, but has its charm,
      From dawning light, to dying day
But oh! be mine a fairer boon,
That silent moon, that silent moon!

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