The Cloudless Moon and Ardent Noon

The lines I have set forth below, from Emily Bronte’s poem, “Thou standest in the greenwood now,” came to mind early this morning when I was thinking about replacing one love with another.

I gazed upon the cloudless moon

And loved her all the night

Till morning came and ardent noon,

Then I forgot her light.


No– not forgot–eternally

Remains her memory dear;

But could the day seem dark to me

Because the night was fair?


I always liked to imagine Bronte coming upon the image of these lines as she actually  gazed upon a cloudless moon. She was a lover and observer of nature and, from her small bedroom, with the bed pushed against the wall and under the window, she no doubt did gaze upon the moon. Even so, my literal interpretation of the poet’s appreciation of the moon and its beauty gives way to a metaphorical one, particularly with the lines, “eternally remains her memory dear.”  The moon will come back, through its phases night after night, so there is no need to keep the memory eternally. Eternal memories are for the dead.

In the seamless web of ideas, the theme here is connected to the Stoic principal that I hold true and have written about several times in this blog:  don’t miss the living moment by letting the past steal what belongs to the present.


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