Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)

The Moon


Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;
Mortality below her orb is placed.
--Raleigh


The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray
Mounts up the eastern sky,
Not doomed to these short nights for aye,
But shining steadily.

She does not wane, but my fortune,
Which her rays do not bless,
My wayward path declineth soon,
But she shines not the less.

And if she faintly glimmers here,
And paled is her light,
Yet alway in her proper sphere
She's mistress of the night.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Freshman - 1,537 Points John Richter (11/3/2014 2:34:00 PM)

    I'd call this a cute poem by any means, definitely a wonderful retort to Raleigh's rather immortal description of the moon as she watches our mortal lives fade away... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 34,963 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (11/3/2014 10:41:00 AM)

    HOW BEAUTIFUL THE QUOTATION IS -Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide; Mortality below her orb is placed. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 394 Points Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/3/2013 10:20:00 AM)

    The pale lonely lady of the night
    Seeking her lost lover in the cosmic space
    When will you get your story right
    I every night wonder with an upturned face........

    All ye poets reading this are welcome to my page too....... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 394 Points Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/3/2013 10:17:00 AM)

    The pale lonely lady of the night
    Seeking her lost lover in the cosmic space
    When will you get your story right
    I every night wonder with an upturned face........

    All ye poets reading this are welcome to my page too....... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Manohar Bhatia (11/3/2013 7:12:00 AM)

    Man, Moon and love ahs been aptly boxed into this fine poem by Henry David Thoreau. Man is unfortunately a casualty in this game of love and is rightly overshadowed by the magnificient Moon. These poems are writen by stalwarts of the by gone era and we might find these poets any more. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 459 Points Ramesh T A (11/3/2011 9:00:00 AM)

    Waxing or waning, Moon is indeed the mistress of the night but not man ever! Mistress of the Night no one can replace ever! What a poem in appreciation of Moon by Henry David Thoreau! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cs Vishwanathan (11/3/2010 8:44:00 AM)

    I agree with Kevin Straw. Compared to Emerson Thoreau was a lesser poet. His prose meditations are justifiably part of the mainstream of American literature. His poems are too much thought up. The poem shown here exemplifies that. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (11/3/2009 7:24:00 AM)

    Thoreau expands Raleigh - but does he improve him? I think not. It seems to me that Raleigh's lines are the superior poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 279 Points Indira Renganathan (11/3/2009 7:05:00 AM)

    If fortune is a wheel as per nature's law, the moon perhaps doesn't seem to bother about her waxing and waning unlike man's constant brooding over his decline...the last stanza is superb....an adorable poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 459 Points Ramesh T A (11/3/2009 12:58:00 AM)

    Steady shining Moon is the cynosure of night despite the decline of man according to Thoreau cannot be said otherwise as the poem is indeed nice! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cecilia Nicoletti (3/19/2007 1:21:00 PM)

    Even if superstition says that we must no look to the moon for too long.Most of those who have the habit to contemplate her and enjoy its pale light will be enchanted to read a poem like this.Thoureau was a kind of man who try to feel its humanity as part of nature returning to nature to feel human again.He have been spying the moon over the woods.Like a solitary black wolf...to be human again. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points David Mitchell (11/3/2005 8:20:00 AM)

    This is a lovely poem, although the half-rhyme of 'sky' and 'steadily' seems to show an incongruous lack of steadiness. Apart from that, sound and sense are well merged together. The poem effectively forms a clear and beautiful image in the mind of the reader. The ending is particularly effective. I do not think that writing about the moon is a fault. (Report) Reply

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