Sunday, April 07, 2024

Why Thus Invert Thy Wonted Pow'r?

 To Cynthia
by William Henry Charlton

(Written at the solar eclipse of 1827.) 

 Cynthia! we hail thy genial birth,
 And bless the borrow'd ray
 That smiles upon the slumb'ring earth,
 And turns our night to day. 

 But why, if thus at midnight hour,
 Thou reign'st supremely bright,
 Why thus invert thy wonted pow'r,
 And turn the day to night? 

 Strange usurpation this! if true
 What midnight sages tell;
 That all the darts you ever drew
 From Phoebus' quiver fell. 

 Ungrateful Dian! is it so
 His favors you requite,
 Stripping his beams of half their glow,
 His disk of half its light? 

 Say, wouldst thou reign, in boundless space,
 Unrivall'd and alone;
 Snatching that brightness from his face
 Which gives thee all thine own? 

 Alas! no more thou shin'st confest
 The night's resplendent queen:
 Thy form, array'd in ebon vest,
 Like envy's self is seen. 

 O then, withdraw from Phoebus' car
 Thine interposing pow'r;
 For shiv'ring mortals ill can spare
 His warmth, in wintry hour. 

 Like passing gleams of brief delight
 On life's uncertain way,
 So breaks the sunbeam on the sight,
 Upon a winter's day. 

 Then ah, that beam again impart,
 Unveil'd, to mortal view;
 Lest thou, who so inconstant art,
 Be deem'd invidious too.