html website builder

Softly the water ripples
  Against the canoe's curving side,
Softly the birch trees rustle
  Flinging over us branches wide.


Softly the moon glints and glistens
  As the water takes and leaves,
Like golden ears of corn
  Which fall from loose-bound sheaves,


Or like the snow-white petals
  Which drop from an overblown rose,
When Summer ripens to Autumn
  And the freighted year must close.


From the shore come the scents of a garden,
  And between a gap in the trees
A proud white statue glimmers
  In cold, disdainful ease.


The child of a southern people,
  The thought of an alien race,
What does she in this pale, northern garden,
  How reconcile it with her grace?


But the moon in her wayward beauty
  Is ever and always the same,
As lovely as when upon Latmos
  She watched till Endymion came.


Through the water the moon writes her legends
  In light, on the smooth, wet sand;
They endure for a moment, and vanish,
  And no one may understand.


All round us the secret of Nature
  Is telling itself to our sight,
We may guess at her meaning but never
  Can know the full mystery of night.


But her power of enchantment is on us,
  We bow to the spell which she weaves,
Made up of the murmur of waves
  And the manifold whisper of leaves.