Sara Teasdale: August Moonrise

August Moonrise

The sun was gone, and the moon was coming Over the blue Connecticut hills; The west was rosy, the east was flushed, And over my head the swallows rushed This way and that, with changeful wills. I heard them twitter and watched them dart Now together and now apart Like dark petals blown from a tree; The maples stamped against the west Were black and stately and full of rest, And the hazy orange moon grew up And slowly changed to yellow gold While the hills were darkened, fold on fold To a deeper blue than a flower could hold. Down the hill I went, and then I forgot the ways of men, For night-scents, heady, and damp and cool Wakened ecstasy in me On the brink of a shining pool.
O Beauty, out of many a cup You have made me drunk and wild Ever since I was a child, But when have I been sure as now That no bitterness can bend And no sorrow wholly bow One who loves you to the end? And though I must give my breath And my laughter all to death, And my eyes through which joy came, And my heart, a wavering flame; If all must leave me and go back Along a blind and fearful track So that you can make anew, Fusing with intenser fire, Something nearer your desire; If my soul must go alone Through a cold infinity, Or even if it vanish, too, Beauty, I have worshipped you.
Let this single hour atone For the theft of all of me.