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    Ronald Ross

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    Hesperus

      Ah whither dost thou float, sweet silent star,
      In yonder floods of evening's dying light?
      Before the fanning wings of rising night,
      Methinks thy silvery bark is driven far
      To some lone isle or calmly havened shore,
      Where the lorn eye of man can follow thee no more.

      How many a one hath watched thee even as I,
      And unto thee and thy receding ray
      Poured forth his thoughts with many a treasured sigh
      Too sweet and strange for the remorseless day;
      But thou hast gone and left unto their sight
      Too great a host of stars, and yet too black a night.

      E'en as I gaze upon thee, thy bright form
      Doth sail away among the cloudy isles
      Around whose shores the sea of sunlight smiles.
      On thee may break no black and boisterous storm
      To turn the tenour of thy calm career.
      As thou wert long ago so now thou dost appear.

      Art thou a tear left by the exiled day
      Upon the dusky cheek of drowsy night?
      Or dost thou as a lark carol alway
      Full in the liquid flow of heavenly light?
      Or, bent on discord and angelic wars,
      As some bright spirit tread before the trooping stars?

      The disenchanted vapours hide thee fast;
      The watery twilight fades and night comes on;
      One lingering moment more and thou art gone,
      Lost in the rising sea of clouds that cast
      Their inundations o'er the darkening air;
      And wild the night wind wails the lightless world's despair.


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