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Poem by Richard Henry Stoddard


The Moon on the Spire


THE white clouds lie in drifts to-night
Around the moon, whose silver fire
Kindles the old Cathedral spire,
And makes the cross a living light.

It gleams and twinkles through my blinds,
It shines on those who walk the street,
It opens heaven to those who meet
At vespers with believing minds.

"How marvellous the Cross," they say,
"That crowns the stately Christian pile!
It lends the moon a saintly smile,
It saves the world from day to day."

Ye speak your thoughts, but I who sit
Above the crowd, and watch the moon--
I hear from her cold lips a tune
To other words: and this is it:

"My crescent glitters in the air,
Above the mosque of Moslem lands:
High in his tower the muezzin stands,
And calls the faithful there to prayer.

"By Indian streams, and swamps of rice,
Pagodas rise, and idols frown:
I pour my heathen brightness down,
And make the night a Paradise.

"Pagoda, mosque, and Christian dome,
I see them all; in all the flame
Of worships burns: God sees the same:
God has in each and all His home."



Richard Henry Stoddard


Richard Henry Stoddard's other poems:
  1. Uncertain Sounds
  2. How are Songs Begot and Bred?
  3. The Serenade of Ma-Han-Shan
  4. Silent Songs
  5. The Sledge at the Gate


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