Song of the Moon

Oh, a hidden power is in my breast, 
    A power that none can fathom; 
I call the tides from seas of rest, 
They rise, they fall, at my behest; 
And many a tardy fisher’s boat, 
I’ve torn apart and set afloat, 
     From out their raging chasm. 

For I’m an enchantress, old and grave; 
      Concealed I rule the weather; 
Oft set I, the lover’s heart a blaze, 
With hidden power of my fulgent rays, 
Or seek I the souls of dying men, 
And call the sea-tides from the fen,
      And drift them out together. 

I call the rain from the mountain’s peak,
     And sound the mighty thunder; 
When I wax and wane from week to week,
The heavens stir, while vain men seek,
To solve the myst’ries that I hold, 
But a bounded portion I unfold, 
     So nations pass and wonder. 

Yea, my hidden strength no man may know;
     Nor myst’ries be expounded;
I’ll cause the tidal waves to flow, 
And I shall wane, and larger grow, 
Yet while man rack his shallow brain, 
The secrets with me still remain, 
      He seeks in vain, confounded. 

Related Poems

Evening Song

Full moon rising on the waters of my heart, 
Lakes and moon and fires, 
Cloine tires,
Holding her lips apart. 

Promises of slumber leaving shore to charm the moon, 
Miracle made vesper-keeps, 
Cloine sleeps, 
And I’ll be sleeping soon. 

Cloine, curled like the sleepy waters where the 
        moon-waves start, 
Radiant, resplendently she gleams, 
Cloine dreams, 
Lips pressed against my heart. 

December Moon

December Moon


Oak moon, reed moon—

our friend called;
she was telling the pain
what to think.

I said Look. If you
relax you'll get better.

Better? who wants better,
said a moonbeam
under the wire,

the soul is light's
hypotenuse; the lily's
logic is frozen fire

December Moon


Suppose you are the secret
of the shore—a strong wave
lying on its side—

you'd come to earth again

(as if joy's understudy
would appear) & you
could live one more bold

day without meaning to,
afresh, on winter's piney floor;

you say, I've been
to the door & wept;
it says, what door

A Memory

I remember
The crackle of the palm trees
Over the mooned white roofs of the town…
The shining town…
And the tender fumbling of the surf
On the sulphur-yellow beaches
As we sat…a little apart…in the close-pressing night.

The moon hung above us like a golden mango,
And the moist air clung to our faces,
Warm and fragrant as the open mouth of a child
And we watched the out-flung sea
Rolling to the purple edge of the world,
Yet ever back upon itself…
As we…

Inadequate night…
And mooned white memory
Of a tropic sea…
How softly it comes up
Like an ungathered lily.