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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Birds of Passage

Flight the First. Daylight and Moonlight

IN broad daylight, and at noon,

Yesterday I saw the moon

Sailing high, but faint and white,

As a school-boy’s paper kite.

In broad daylight, yesterday,

I read a Poet’s mystic lay;

And it seemed to me at most

As a phantom, or a ghost.

But at length the feverish day

Like a passion died away,

And the night, serene and still,

Fell on village, vale, and hill.

Then the moon, in all her pride,

Like a spirit glorified,

Filled and overflowed the night

With revelations of her light.

And the Poet’s song again

Passed like music through my brain;

Night interpreted to me

All its grace and mystery.