Selene in the South by John Laurence Rentoul (Gervaise Gage)

(On first seeing the ” New Moon ” rise over an Australian mountain-range.)

O fair young Moon, that risest on my sight
Clad in thy naked beauty white and pure,
A haunting sweet surprise, hopes that endure
Leap up to greet thee in my heart to-night!
Long, long ago I hailed thee, radiant-bright,
In the cold North: above thee, strong and sure,
Steadfast ‘midst darkling storms or mists that lure,
Gleamed guardant the Great Bear’s calm eyes of light.
New Heavens are o’er thee. New stars kneel and shine
At thy fair feet. Nay, thou wilt not forget
Endymion’s kiss that thrilled back joy to thine!
Here is no Latmos*; but, more lustrous yet,
Our South heights hail thee: for thy fairer crown
The Great Cross sheds on thee his splendour down.

Note: Endymion was said to have been the lover of the goddess of the moon, Selene, in Greek mythology. Selene saw and fell in love with him on Mount Latmos (or Latmus).

From: Gage, Gervaise (J. Laurence Rentoul), From Far Lands: Poems of North and South, 1914, MacMillan and Co: London, p. 67.

Date: 1914

By: John Laurence Rentoul (Gervaise Gage) (1846-1926)

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