[From Mona's Isle, 1844]


HAIL ! wondrous visitant to this our sky!
Once more thou shinest on the human eye;
How far remote thy ample rounds have been
Since last thy blaze by mortal man was seen!
Who can behold thee on thy rapid flight,
Steering thy course towards the fount of light,
Without being wrapt in deep solemnity,
Or bending low before the Deity
Who form’d thy shape—and with a mighty force
First launch’d thee on thy long eccentric course,
To traverse worlds to human sight obscure,
And all the test of ages to endure?
Yet still how small a speck art thou in space!
And e’en th’ included compass of thy race
Is but an atom in that mighty whole
Unfathom’d by the powers of the soul.
Still thou, the common dictates of thy God
Obey’st in truth, and moveth at His nod
Amongst those worlds of strong attractive force,
Ne’er straying from thine own allotted course.
Since last thou pass’d the confines of this earth
A new-born race have burst forth into birth;
And scarcely one remains below to tell
When thou of earth didst take thy last farewell!
E’en he who mark’d thy course and laws so true,
Ere thou return’d, hath bid this world adieu;
While each succeeding rout thou dost perform
Mankind are swept by Time’s destroying storm
From off this earth—leaving no trace behind
But the succeeding offspring of their kind:
But thou, from age to age thy course doth run
In thine elliptic journey round the sun;
And at the end of every seventy years
Thy lustre to the human eye appears.
Here let me gaze on thee with sweet delight,
For thou proclairn’st the power and the might
Of the Omnipotent—whose hand divine
First gave thee speed, and caused thy train to shine!


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