The Moon and the Comet
This fact is clear....Both man and woman
Prize not what's good, but what's uncommon ;
And most delighted still they are,
Not with the excellent, but rare,....
I could of this give proofs most stable,
But, par exemple , take a fable.
'T was night....but still a mimic day
Shone softly forth from milky way;
For now the bright unclouded moon
'Was riding in her highest noon....'
Who, as she slowly sailed along,
Beheld a most unusual throng
With eyes upraised devoutly gazing,
And heard, "Behold! see there! amazing!"
"What can this mean?" dame Cynthia said,
"Perhaps," and high she drew her head,
"Perhaps that I to earth tonight
Shine with unwonted beauty bright;
And therefore mortals in amaze
Come crowding forth on me to gaze;"
And then,....for heavenly beauties love,
Like earthly ones, applause to move,....
She stooped, within a lake below
To see how looked her sparkling brow:
And as her crescent she adjusted,
She thought, if mirrors might be trusted,
That night, so wondrous was her beauty,
To gaze on her was mortals' duty.
But O! sad fall to female pride!
She soon with wondering looks descried
'Twas not on her that eyes were turned;
For her no curious ardour burned;
At her no telescopes were aimed,
Nor wonder at her charms proclaimed;....
Some other idol now, she found,
Had fickle man in fetters bound;
And Cynthia was compelled to own,
Unseen her matchless beauty shone.
"But what," she cried, "thus rivals me?
I all the stars and planets see....
Orion has his belt in order;
Of Saturn's ring bright shines the border;
Mars sports his coat of reddest hue;
The Bear has put his horses to;....
But still, these sights so oft are seen,
There's nothing new in them I ween:
And after all I know the cry
Is, 'they are nought when I am by....'
'Tis strange; and I shall surely pout
Until I've found my rival out."
This said, she looked on every side
With eager looks of wounded pride,
And round with all the spite inspected
Of conscious beauty quite neglected;
When, lo! she saw with wondring breast,
Just twinkling in the northern west,
And dimly seen, since seen from far,
A rayless, misty, long-tailed star;
While homage from her charms was ravished,
To be on this poor Comet lavished!
W--k--e, beware! Though amateurs,
And nobles, artists, connoisseurs,
Thy works admire, thy skill commend,
And smiling o'er thy canvass bend,
Thy powers will be no more respected,
Thy crowded easel soon neglected,
If ever artist should appear
(The comet of dame fashion's sphere,)
Who works to wondering London shows
Not done with fingers, but with....toes.
Amelia Opie's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Moon and the Comet by Amelia Opie )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes