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"Shall I nestle near thy side?
Death will come when thou art dead,
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822]
MYSTERIOUS Night! when our first parent knew
Thee from report divine, and heard thy name,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed
Joseph Blanco White [1775-1841]
MYSTERIOUS night! Spread wide thy silvery plume!
Deep-bosomed night! Not here where down the marge
Tremble on trembling blackness; nay, far hence,
Lift thou the soul to spheres that gave her birth!
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,
Its wealthy furrows yield;
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,
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
Night is the time for care;
Brooding on hours misspent,
Like Brutus, 'midst his slumbering host,
Night is the time to think;
When, from the eye, the soul
Takes flight; and, on the utmost brink,
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,
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!
HE MADE THE NIGHT
VAST Chaos, of eld, was God's dominion;
He loved His darkness still, for it was old;
And strewed it with the stars, and called it Night.
HYMN TO THE NIGHT
I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
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,-
O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
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]