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Anna Jane Vardill

The Glow-worm to the Moon

Merrily shine, sweet moon, with me,
 To cheer the traveller’s lonely way!
Merrily shine, for I like thee
 But for a passing season stay.

Shall we not lend, while thus we rove,
 My diamond dart and thy silver bow;
Thou in the sapphire vaults above,
 I in the emerald fields below?

They who linger and waken yet
 To gaze on me or thy wand’ring beam,
Are frail themselves as the lights that flit
 From me and thee on the glassy stream.

Thou art, like them, of earthly frame,
 Tinged with a light from purer spheres,
That on thy desolate darkness came
 And coldly shines through a clime of tears.

And they are, like me, unfix’d and brief,
 Guests of the cold and shadowy hour,
That dwell in the mists of doubt and grief,
 Or stray from perishing flow’r to flow’r.

And we, the glow-worm and wand’ring moon,
 Have shadows such as the joys they chase;
Such vapours mock me in midnight’s noon,
 Such films steal over thy pale bright face.

O!—let them learn, like us, to deck
 The darkest hour of their little reign!
Let them glide, like thee, thro’ the wild clouds’ wreck,
 Or frolic with me o’er bower and plain.

Shall they not learn from us to scorn
 The vapours that haunt this summer-night
Let them wait like us for its golden morn,
 And blend with the world of living light!

Merrily stay, sweet moon, and shine
 While wanderers keep their jubilee:
The light of the world is mine and thine,
 And Man, its master, is slave to me!


The European Magazine, Vol. 75, May 1819, p. 454