Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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A NIGHT-PIECE

                ------THE sky is overcast
      With a continuous cloud of texture close,
      Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,
      Which through that veil is indistinctly seen,
      A dull, contracted circle, yielding light
      So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,
      Chequering the ground--from rock, plant, tree, or tower.
      At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam
      Startles the pensive traveller while he treads
      His lonesome path, with unobserving eye                         10
      Bent earthwards; he looks up--the clouds are split
      Asunder,--and above his head he sees
      The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens.
      There, in a black-blue vault she sails along,
      Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small
      And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss
      Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away,
      Yet vanish not!--the wind is in the tree,
      But they are silent;--still they roll along
      Immeasurably distant; and the vault,                            20
      Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,
      Still deepens its unfathomable depth.
      At length the Vision closes; and the mind,
      Not undisturbed by the delight it feels,
      Which slowly settles into peaceful calm,
      Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.
                                                              1798.


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