John Swanwick Drennan (1809-1893)

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On the Telescopic Moon

A lifeless solitude--an angry waste,
Searing our alien eyes with horrors bare;
No fertilizing cloud--no genial air
To mitigate its savageness of breast;
The light itself all undiffusive there;
Motionless terror clinging to the crest
Of steepmost pinnacles; as by despair
Unfathomable caverns still possessed!
How shall we designate such world forlorn?
What nook of Heaven abhors this portent dark?
Lo! where the Moon reveals her gentle ray,
Waking the nightingale's and poet's lay;
Speeding benign the voyager's return;
And lighting furtive kisses to their mark!