Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
The Morning Moon
By William Barnes (1801–1886)
’TWAS when the op’ning dawn was still,
I took my lonely road, up hill,
Toward the eastern sky, in gloom,
Or touch’d with palest primrose bloom;
And there the moon at morning break,        5
Though yet unset, was gleaming weak,
And fresh’ning air began to pass,
All voiceless, over darksome grass,
        Before the sun
        Had yet begun        10
To dazzle down the morning moon.
By Maycreech hillock lay the cows,
Below the ash-trees’ nodding boughs,
And water fell, from block to block
Of mossy stone, down Burncleeve rock,        15
By poplar-trees that stood, as slim
’S a feather, by the stream’s green brim;
And down about the mill, that stood
Half darken’d off below the wood,
        The rambling brook        20
        From nook to nook
Flow’d on below the morning moon.
At mother’s house I made a stand,
Where no one stirr’d with foot or hand;
No smoke above the chimney reek’d,        25
No winch above the well-mouth creak’d;
No casement open’d out, to catch
The air below the eaves of thatch;
Nor down before her cleanly floor
Had open’d back her heavy door;        30
        And there the hatch,
        With fasten’d latch,
Stood close, below the morning moon:
And she, dear soul, so good and kind,
Had holden long, in my young mind,        35
Of holy thoughts the highest place
Of honour for her love and grace.
But now my wife, to heart and sight,
May seem to shine a fuller light;
And as the sun may rise to view,        40
To dim the moon, from pale to blue,
        My comely bride
        May seem to hide
My mother, now my morning moon.

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