Moonlight – Victoria Sackville West

What time the meanest brick and stone 

Take on a beauty not their own, 

And past the flaw of builded wood 

Shines the intention whole and good, 

And all the little homes of man 

Rise to a dimmer, nobler span; 

When colour’s absence gives escape 

To the deeper spirit of the shape, 
— Then earth’s great architecture swells 

Among her mountains and her fells 

Under the moon to amplitude 

Massive and primitive and rude: 
— Then do the clouds like silver flags 

Stream out above the tattered crags, 

And black and silver all the coast 

Marshalls its hunched and rocky host, 

And headlands striding sombrely 

Buttress the land against the sea, 

— The darkened land, the brightening wave — 

And moonlight slants through Merlin’s cave.