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Moonset

Sir Henry Newbolt 1862 (Bilston, Staffordshire) – 1938 (Kensington, London)

Past seven o'clock: time to be gone;
Twelfth-night's over and dawn shivering up:
A hasty cut of the loaf, a steaming cup,
Down to the door, and there is Coachman John.

Ruddy of cheek is John and bright of eye;
But John it appears has none of your grins and winks;
Civil enough, but short: perhaps he thinks:
Words come once in a mile, and always dry.

Has he a mind or not? I wonder; but soon
We turn through a leafless wood, and there to the right,
Like a sun bewitched in alien realms of night,
Mellow and yellow and rounded hangs the moon.

Strangely near she seems, and terribly great:
The world is dead: why are we travelling still?
Nightmare silence grips my struggling will;
We are driving for ever and ever to find a gate.

'When you come to consider the moon,' says John at last,
And stops, to feel his footing and take his stand;
'And then there's some will say there's never a hand
That made the world!'
A flick, and the gates are passed.

Out of the dim magical moonlit park,
Out to the workday road and wider skies:
There's a warm flush in the East where day's to rise,
And I'm feeling the better for Coachman John's remark.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:07 min read
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Sir Henry Newbolt

Sir Henry John Newbolt, CH was an English poet, novelist and historian. He also had a very powerful role as a government adviser, particularly on Irish issues and with regard to the study of English in England. He is perhaps best remembered for his poems "Vitaï Lampada" and "Drake's Drum". more…

All Sir Henry Newbolt poems | Sir Henry Newbolt Books

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    "Moonset" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/35143/moonset>.

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