Sublunary Sonnets for a Dark College Night
20 February 2008 (collegiateway.org) — The environment of a residential college offers a wealth of opportunities for teaching with-out the curriculum—a favorite theme here at the Collegiate Way. As the round full moon vanishes this evening across much of the western hemisphere will you be out on the lawn or the roof of your college with your students, feeding them sublunary sonnets from Thomas Hardy?
At a Lunar Eclipse
Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
Now steals along upon the Moon’s meek shine
In even monochrome and curving line
Of imperturbable serenity.
How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry
With the torn troubled form I know as thine,
That profile, placid as a brow divine,
With continents of moil and misery?
And can immense Mortality but throw
So small a shade, and Heaven’s high human scheme
Be hemmed within the coasts yon arc implies?
Is such the stellar gauge of earthly show,
Nation at war with nation, brains that teem,
Heroes, and women fairer than the skies?