Clement Clark Moore's Poetry
Clement Clark Moore
Brought to you by the website of Henry Livingston, the author of A Visit From St. Nicholas


My ear still vibrates with thy sweet command;
still, tremulous, I hold thy parting hand;
I see thy smile still witching me away;
Yet must this willing heart still disobey.
Yes, lovely tempter, yes, I must forego
A transient bliss that leaves a lasting woe.
In shades I dwell where each severer Muse,
And thought, and silence, spread their pallid hues.

But when I bask beneath the melting rays
Of joyous rosy light that round thee plays,
At thought of these my solitary shades,
A chilling horror all my frame pervades.
The Graces that around thee lightly trip,
The Joys that laugh upon thy ruby lip,
The flutt'ring Loves that, watchful to beguile,
Direct thy glance and lurk beneath thy smile,
They mar my soul for contemplation's powers,
For learning's rugged paths and weary hours,
For deep research that strains the mental eye,
and daring thoughts that soar beyond the sky.

Glide on, sweet maid, in pleasure's gilded barque,
Still blithe and tuneful as the morning lark;
Still let the melting music of thy tongue
Delight the old and captivate the young;
Still, laughing, lead along the sportive train
Whose breasts can feel no deep-devouring pain:
But Oh! if e'er thou mark some gentle youth,
In whose fond breast dwell loyalty and truth,
Let not a conquest's momentary bliss
Tempt thee to trifle with a heart like this.
The breast which generous love and honor swell
Is sacred as the fane where Angels dwell:
The sacrilege that tempts its holy fire
Fails not to rouse a guardian Spirit's ire.

Go now, and may thy heaven-attemper'd mind,
Ere long, some pure congenial spirit find;
Some swift etherial soul, that shall delight
To chase and take thee in thy wildest flight.
Nor let thy flights and folies chase away
All thought of him who pours this parting lay;
whose bosom, mingled pains and tumults swell
While thus he bids farewell -- a sad farewell!

"Clement Moore at age thirty-four reports that his own mother thought of him as a "woman hater," a scholar like "the long-bearded Jew who could love nothing but musty black-letter books."
Don Foster, Author Unknown


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