Archibald Lampman

The Moon-path

The full, clear moon uprose and spread
  Her cold, pale splendor o'er the sea;
A light-strewn path that seemed to lead
  Outward into eternity.
Between the darkness and the gleam
  An old-world spell encompassed me:
Methought that in a godlike dream
  I trod upon the sea.

And lo! upon that glimmering road,
  In shining companies unfurled,
The trains of many a primal god,
  The monsters of the elder world;
Strange creatures that, with silver wings,
  Scarce touched the ocean's thronging floor,
The phantoms of old tales, and things
  Whose shapes are known no more.

Giants and demi-gods who once
  Were dwellers of the earth and sea,
And they who from Deucalion's stones,
  Rose men without an infancy;
Beings on whose majestic lids
  Time's solemn secrets seemed to dwell,
Tritons and pale-limbed Nereids,
  And forms of heaven and hell.

Some who were heroes long of yore,
  When the great world was hale and young;
And some whose marble lips yet pour
  The murmur of an antique tongue;
Sad queens, whose names are like soft moans,
  Whose griefs were written up in gold;
And some who on their silver thrones
  Were goddesses of old.

As if I had been dead indeed,
  And come into some after-land,
I saw them pass me, and take heed,
  And touch me with each mighty hand;
And evermore a murmurous stream,
  So beautiful they seemed to me,
Not less than in a godlike dream
  I trod the shining sea.

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