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Moonlight on the Sea

by Ruby Archer

A boat of magic is the moon,
Bearing through depth serene
Fair secrets learned of upturned eyes.
The boat lets fall a chain
With glittering silver anchor down
Before our seething prow,
Along the water quivering,—
That brilliant, subtle chain.
At last the silent anchor drops
Adown the furling waves.

Or is it ladder all of pearl,
From sea to heaven aglow,
Whereon our yearning thoughts may find
Even the infinite?

Or large white fingers of the night,
Nocturnes tender playing
On the yielding billow-keys,—
Lingering andante?

Or are the tripping moonbeans wild
Souls of sunbeams dead,
Dancing to the night-wind's flute,
In eerie revelry?

Or is the toiling sea athirst,
Quaffing moonlight cool,
Freely poured into the waves'
Goblets held on high?
Drink not deeply, Ocean,
Of that mystic white!
It hath wondrous, witching power,
Untold sorcery,
And will make thee faint and reel,—
Sink to spells—and dreams.