Roderic Quinn

1867 - 1949 / Australia

Midnight And Moonlight

AS one singled out from his fellows,
Enchanted I roam
Through night with its music and moonlight,
And sea-sheen and foam.
'Twas Beauty herself that awoke me
And whispered 'Arise,
I have lit all the lamps of my palace
To gladden your eyes!'
I rose at her bidding, and surely
'Tis just as she said —
The moon, spilling splendour around me,
Brimfull overhead;
Rich perfumes from garden and garden
Rare blossoms outpour;
The sea, broad and bright to the skyline,
Sings low to the shore.
The beach, a brave riband of silver,
All radiant shines,
'Twixt the white of the surf on its sea edge
And the dark of the pines.
And the white of the surf on its sea-edge
A wonder-light gives,
And the dark of the pines is the darkness
Where mystery lives.
Can it be that this scene goes unwitnessed
Except by my eyes —
These splendours that start from the ocean
And rain from the skies?
Unaware of the light and the wonder,
In slumber sunk deep,
Young and old, they lie blind on their couches.
Eyes lidded in sleep.
Though pearl-tinted breakers be falling,
Unvisioned they fall —
Oh Sleep! art thou jealous of Beauty
To hold them in thrall?
How I long for a magical bugle,
Sweet-throated and clear,
To sound through their slumbers and wake them,
And summon them here!
Then old men and young men forth-coming
Would sigh their delight;
And maidens, white-throated, barefooted,
In garments of white;
And all would speak well of the bugle,
And praise its sweet sound
That made them the guest-folk of Beauty
In radiance gowned.
Spell-bound they would stand in her presence,
Souls steeped in amaze,
The thrill of her magic upon them —
Sea-sheen and moonrays —
Spell-bound with the mystic enchantment,
Till one in that throng,
With a rapture exceeding all raptures
Of passion and song,
Would beget of his musing a vision
As wondrous as she
Who was fashioned of dream-stuff and moonlight
And foam of the sea.
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