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Ah, whither art straying, thou spirit of light,

From thy home in the boundless sky? Why lookest thou down from the empire of night,

With that silent and sorrowful eye ?

Thou art resting here on the autumn leaf,

Where it fell from its throne of pride ; But oh, what pictures of joy or grief,

What scenes thou art viewing beside !

Thou art glancing down on the ocean waves,

As they proudly heave and swell;
Thou art piercing deep in its coral caves,

Where the green-haired sea-nymphs dwell !



Thou art pouring thy beams on Italia's shore,

As though it were sweet to be there;
Thou art lighting the prince to his stately couch,

And the monk to his midnight prayer.


Thou art casting a fretwork of silver rays

Over ruin, and palace, and tower;
Thou art gilding the temples of former days,

In this holy and beautiful hour.

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Thou art silently roaming through forest and glade,

Where mortal foot never hath trod;
Thou art lighting the grave where the dust is laid,
While the spirit hath gone to its God!

Thou art looking on those I love! oh, wake

In their hearts some remembrance of me,
And gaze on them thus, till their bosoms partake

Of the love I am breathing to thee.

And perchance thou art casting this mystic spell

On the beautiful land of the blest, Where the dear ones of earth have departed to dwell,

Where the weary have fled to their rest.

Oh yes ! with that soft and ethereal beam,

Thou hast looked on the mansions of bliss,
And some spirit, perchance, of that glorified world

Hath breathed thee a message to this.

'Tis a mission of love, for no threatening shade

Can be blent with thy spirit-like hues, And thy ray thrills the heart, as love only can thrill, . And while raising it, melts and subdues.

And it whispers compassion; for lo, on thy brow

Is the sadness of angels enshrined,


And a misty veil, as of purified tears,

Round thy beautiful form is entwined.

Hail, beam of the blessed! my heart

Has drunk deep of thy magical power,
And each thought and each feeling seems bathed

In the light of this exquisite hour !

Sweet ray, I have proved thee so fair

In this dark world of mourning and sin, May I hail thee more bright in that pure region, where

Nor sorrow nor death enter in.

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