James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Moon-Drowned - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

'Twas the height of the fete when we quitted the riot,
And quietly stole to the terrace alone,
Where, pale as the lovers that ever swear by it,
The moon it We stood there enchanted.--And O the delight of
The sight of the stars and the moon and the sea,
And the infinite skies of that opulent night of
Purple and gold and ivory!

The lisp of the lip of the ripple just under--
The half-awake nightingale's dream in the yews--
Came up from the water, and down from the wonder
Of shadowy foliage, drowsed with the dews,--
Unsteady the firefly's taper--unsteady
The poise of the stars, and their light in the tide,
As it struggled and writhed in caress of the eddy,
As love in the billowy breast of a bride.

The far-away lilt of the waltz rippled to us,
And through us the exquisite thrill of the air:
Like the scent of bruised bloom was her breath, and its dew was
Not honier-sweet than her warm kisses were.
We stood there enchanted.--And O the delight of
The sight of the stars and the moon and the sea,
And the infinite skies of that opulent night of
Purple and gold and ivory!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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