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‘Hymn to the Moon’

‘Hymn to the Moon’

Thou silver deity of secret night,

Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade;

Thou conscious witness of unknown delight,

The Lover’s guardian, and the Muse’s aid!

By thy pale beams I solitary rove,

To thee my tender grief confide;

Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove,

My friend, my goddess, and my guide …

I just learned that Lady Mary Worley Montagu (1689-1762) who wrote this poem is also celebrated for introducing smallpox inoculation to Britain, half a century before Edward Jenner developed vaccination against the disease.

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