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Poem by Rose Terry Cooke

The Desire of the Moth

Golden-colored miller,
Leave the lamp, and fly away!
In that flame so brightly gleaming,
Sure, though smiling, death is beaming;
Hasten to thy play!
Nearer? foolish miller!
Look! thy tiny wings will burn.
Just escaped,--but soon 'twill reach thee;
Ah! can dying only teach thee
Truths thou wilt not learn?
Didst thou whisper, miller?
Something like a voice and sigh
Seemed to say,--"in all thy teaching,
Is there practice, or but preaching;
Doest thou more than I?"
Wisest little miller!
I indeed have hung too long
Round a flame more wildly burning,
And, with heart too fond and yearning,
Heard no charmer's song.
Blinder than a miller
Hovering with devoted gaze,
Where such visions vain I cherish,
Either they or I must perish,
Like that flickering blaze.
But the moonlight, miller,
Better far befits our mirth;
That calm, streaming light is given
From the silent depths of heaven;
Fire is born of earth!

Rose Terry Cooke

Rose Terry Cooke's other poems:
  1. Fastrada's Ring
  2. Exogenesis
  3. Ebb and Flow
  4. The Lesson
  5. Trailing Arbutus

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