Diana still hunts in the New England sky.
"In Heaven queen she is among the spheres.
She, mistress-like, makes all things to be pure.
Eternity in her oft change she bears;
She Beauty is; by her the fair endure.
Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;
Mortality below her orb is placed;
By her lie virtues of the stars down slide;
By her is Virtue's perfect image cast."
The Hindoos compare the moon to a saintly being who has reached the last stage of bodily existence.
Great restorer of antiquity, great enchanter. In a mild night, when the harvest or hunter's moon shines unobstructedly, the houses in our village, whatever architect they may have had by day, acknowledge only a master. The village street is then as wild as the forest. New and old things are confounded. I know not whether I am sitting on the ruins of a wall, or on the material which is to compose a new one. Nature is an instructed and impartial teacher, spreading no crude opinions, and flattering none; she will be neither radical nor conservative. Consider the moonlight, so civil, yet so savage!
The light is more proportionate to our knowledge than that of day. It is no more dusky in ordinary nights, than our mind's habitual atmosphere, and the moonlight is as bright as our most illuminated moments are.
"In such a night let me abroad remain
Till morning breaks, and all's confused again."
Of what significance the light of day, if it is not the reflection of an inward dawn?--to what purpose is the veil of night withdrawn, if the morning reveals nothing to the soul? It is merely garish and glaring.
When Ossian in his address to the sun exclaims,
"Where has darkness its dwelling?
Where is the cavernous home of the stars,
When thou quickly followest their steps,
Pursuing them like a hunter in the sky,--
Thou climbing the lofty hills,
They descending on barren mountains?"
who does not in his thought accompany the stars to their "cavernous home," "descending" with them "on barren mountains?"
Nevertheless, even by night the sky is blue and not black, for we see through the shadow of the earth into the distant atmosphere of day, where the sunbeams are revelling.