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Poem by William Cullen Bryant


The New Moon


When, as the garish day is done,
Heaven burns with the descended sun,
    'Tis passing sweet to mark,
Amid that flush of crimson light,
The new moon's modest bow grow bright,
    As earth and sky grow dark.

Few are the hearts too cold to feel
A thrill of gladness o'er them steal,
    When first the wandering eye
Sees faintly, in the evening blaze,
That glimmering curve of tender rays
    Just planted in the sky.

The sight of that young crescent brings
Thoughts of all fair and youthful things
    The hopes of early years;
And childhood's purity and grace,
And joys that like a rainbow chase
    The passing shower of tears.

The captive yields him to the dream
Of freedom, when that virgin beam
    Comes out upon the air:
And painfully the sick man tries
To fix his dim and burning eyes
    On the soft promise there.

Most welcome to the lover's sight,
Glitters that pure, emerging light;
    For prattling poets say,
That sweetest is the lovers' walk,
And tenderest is their murmured talk,
cBeneath its gentle ray.

And there do graver men behold
A type of errors, loved of old,
    Forsaken and forgiven;
And thoughts and wishes not of earth,
Just opening in their early birth,
    Like that new light in heaven.



William Cullen Bryant


William Cullen Bryant's other poems:
  1. Ode for an Agricultural Celebration
  2. The Journey of Life
  3. To the Apennines
  4. To the River Arve
  5. The Murdered Traveller


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • William Simms The New Moon ("BEND thy bow, Dian! shoot thy silver shaft")
  • Sara Teasdale The New Moon ("")

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