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The cold gray curtain of the clouds
The face of midnight darkly shrouds,
And hides the brilliant orbs that shine
In splendid forms round Dian's shrine.
Behold its folds the looms of air
A spotless robe for Earth prepare;
The crystal shuttles swiftly go,
And weave the woof of virgin snow.


'T is done; the fleecy robe is made,
And o'er Earth's naked bosom laid,
Which fairy hands have gently spread,
With softened grace, where'er we tread.
Peace o'er the mystic scene doth lie;
Apollo opes his golden eye;
Backward the dusky curtains roll,
And lo, reveal the splendid whole!


O beauteous Earth! fantastic groves,
With glittering towers and white alcoves,
And miracles of splendor glow,
In bold relief, of spotless snow.
Ye Genii of imperial Rome,
Whose glories crown her spire and dome,
Here might ye bow at Nature's shrine,
And study scenes by hands divine.