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Deep-bosomed night! Not here where down the marge
Marble with palaces those lamps of earth

Tremble on trembling blackness; nay, far hence,
There on the lake where space is lone and large,
And man's life lost in broad indifference,

Lift thou the soul to spheres that gave her birth!
John Addington Symonds [1840-1893]


NIGHT is the time for rest;

How sweet, when labors close,

To gather round an aching breast

The curtain of repose,

Stretch the tired limbs, and lay the head

Down on our own delightful bed!

Night is the time for dreams;

The gay romance of life,

When truth that is, and truth that seems,

Blend in fantastic strife;

Ah! visions, less beguiling far

Than waking dreams by daylight are!

Night is the time for toil;

To plough the classic field,
Intent to find the buried spoil

Its wealthy furrows yield;
Till all is ours that sages taught,
That poets sang, or heroes wrought.

Night is the time to weep;

To wet with unseen tears

Those graves of Memory, where sleep

The joys of other years;

Hopes, that were Angels at their birth,
But perished young, like things of earth.

Night is the time to watch;

O'er ocean's dark expanse,

To hail the Pleiades, or catch

The full moon's earliest glance,

He Made the Night

That brings into the homesick mind
All we have loved and left behind.

Night is the time for care;

Brooding on hours misspent,
To see the spectre of Despair
Come to our lonely tent;

Like Brutus, 'midst his slumbering host,
Summoned to die by Cæsar's ghost.

Night is the time to think;

When, from the eye, the soul

Takes flight; and, on the utmost brink,
Of yonder starry pole

Descries beyond the abyss of night

The dawn of uncreated light.

Night is the time to pray;

Our Saviour oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away;
So will his followers do,-

Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.

Night is the time for Death;

When all around is peace,

Calmly to yield the weary breath,

From sin and suffering cease,

Think of heaven's bliss, and give the sign


To parting friends;-such death be mine!
James Montgomery [1771-1854]


VAST Chaos, of eld, was God's dominion;
'Twas His beloved child, His own first-born;
And He was agèd ere the thought of morn
Shook the sheer steeps of dim Oblivion.
Then all the works of darkness being done
Through countless æons hopelessly forlorn,
Out to the very utmost verge and bourne,
God at the last, reluctant, made the sun.

He loved His darkness still, for it was old;
He grieved to see His eldest child take flight;
And when His Fiat Lux the death-knell tolled,
As the doomed Darkness backward by Him rolled,
He snatched a remnant flying into light

And strewed it with the stars, and called it Night.
Lloyd Mifflin [1846-


I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!

I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;

The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,

The manifold, soft chimes,

That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,

Like some old poet's rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air

My spirit drank repose;

The fountain of perpetual peace flows there,-
From those deep cisterns flows.

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!

Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer! Descend with broad-winged flight,.

The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair, The best-beloved Night!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [1807-1882]

Dawn and Dark



GOD with His million cares
Went to the left or right,
Leaving our world; and the day
Grew night.

Back from a sphere He came
Over a starry lawn,

Looked at our world; and the dark

Grew dawn.

Norman Gale [1862


A SONG FOR THE SEASONS WHEN the merry lark doth gild

With his song the summer hours, And their nests the swallows build In the roofs and tops of towers, And the golden broom-flower burns All about the waste,

And the maiden May returns

With a pretty haste,

Then, how merry are the times!

The Spring times! the Summer times!

Now, from off the ashy stone

The chilly midnight cricket crieth,

And all merry birds are flown,

And our dream of pleasure dieth;

Now the once blue, laughing sky

Saddens into gray,

And the frozen rivers sigh,

Pining all away!

Now, how solemn are the times!
The Winter times! the Night times!

Yet, be merry; all around

Is through one vast change revolving;

Even Night, who lately frowned,

Is in paler dawn dissolving;

Earth will burst her fetters strange,

And in Spring grow free;

All things in the world will change,
Save my love for thee!

Sing then, hopeful are all times!
Winter, Spring, Summer times!

Bryan Waller Procter [1787-1874]

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