WHAT doth the Moon, so lily white, Busily weave this summer night?
'Silver ropes and diamond strands
For Baby's pink and dimpled hands; Cords for her rosy palms to hold While she floats, she flies,
To Dreamland, set with its shores of gold,
With its buds like stars shaken out of the skies, Where the trees have tongues and the flowers have lips
To coax, to kiss
The velvet cheek of the Babe who slips Thro' the Dream-gate up to a land like this.'
What is the mild Sea whispering clear
In the rosy shell of Baby's ear?
See! she laughs in her dimpled sleep.
What does she hear from the shining deep?
'Thy father comes a-sailing, a-sailing, a-sailing, Safely comes a-sailing from islands fair and far.
O Baby, bid thy mother cease her tears and bitter wailing:
The sailor's wife's his only port, his babe his beacon star!'
Softly the Wind doth blow;
What say its murmurs low?
What doth it bring On the wide, soft plume of its dewy wing?
'Only scented blisses
Of innocent, sweet kisses
For such a cheek as this is,
Of Baby in her nest,
From all the dreaming flowers,
A-nodding in their bowers,
Or bright on leafy towers, Where the fairy monarchs rest.
But chiefly I bring,
On my fresh, sweet mouth,
Her father's kiss,
As he sails from the south.
He hitherward blew it at break of day;
I lay it, Babe, on thy tender lip;
I'll steal another and hie away,
And kiss it to him on his wave-rocked ship.
'I saw a fairy twine,
Of star-white jessamine,
A dainty seat, shaped like an airy swing,
With two round yellow stars Against the misty bars
Of night; she nailed it high
In the pansy-purple sky,
With four taps of her little rainbow wing.
To and fro
That swing I'll blow.
'The baby moon in the amethyst sky
Will laugh at us as we float and fly,
And stretch her silver arms and try
To catch the earth-babe swinging by.'
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