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Night Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Night by Augusta True
  2. Hymn to the Night by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. Night in the West by
  4. To the Evening Wind by William Cullen Bryant
  5. Good Night by Mrs. Follen
  6. Good Night by Samuel Griswold Goodrich
  7. Evening Hymn by Anonymous
  8. Harry and the Guidepost by Anonymous
  9. Sleeping by Emily Dickinson
  10. Evening by Emily Dickinson
  11. Dawn by Emily Dickinson
  12. Spring Night by Bliss Carman
  13. Night Lyric by Bliss Carman
  14. "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold" by Bliss Carman
  15. Night by Madison Cawein
  16. Frogs at Night by Madison Cawein
  17. Night by Adelaide Crapsey
  18. A Night in June by Madison Cawein
  19. A Summer's Night by Laurence Dunbar
  20. Evening by C. S. Calverley
  21. The Stars and the Falling Dew by Hannah Flagg Gould
  22. Nocturne by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  23. Dark by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  24. The Night Sky by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  25. Night in a Down-town Street by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  1. Midnight by Paul Hamilton Hayne
  2. Evening, Near the Sea by Edward Dowden
  3. At Evening by Ruby Archer
  4. Twilight Time by Ruby Archer
  5. Twilight by Ruby Archer
  6. When Twilight Comes With Dreams by William Stanley Braithwaite
  7. On Evening by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott
  8. Night by James Montgomery
  9. Two O'Clock by Christopher Morley
  10. Desert of Arabia by Robert Southey
  11. After Sunset by Grace Hazard Conkling
  12. Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
  13. Good Night and Good Morning by Lord Houghton
  14. 'Tis Night by Mary M. Bowen
  15. Now the Day is Over by Sabine Baring-Gould
  16. Evening by William Stanley Braithwaite
  17. Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson
  18. At Night by Kate Louise Wheeler
  19. August Night by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  20. October Night by Ada A. Mosher
  21. On Venice Waters by Ruby Archer
  22. In the Night by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  23. A July Night by John Todhunter
  24. The Dark by Annette Wynne
  25. The Pleasant Dark by Annette Wynne
  26. When the Day Is Over by Annette Wynne
  27. Sleep Time by Annette Wynne
  28. The Listeners by Walter de la Mare
  29. An Hymn To The Evening by Phillis Wheatley
  30. Winter Nights by Thomas Campion
  31. Night by Douglas Malloch
  32. Serenade by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  33. Lullaby by Louisa May Alcott
  34. I Love the Night by George Pope Morris
  35. Prairie Waters by Night by Carl Sandburg
  36. An October Evening by Edith Franklin Wyatt


  1. Twilight Time

    by Ruby Archer

    Pine-tree shadows, long and longer,
    Lose the brightness of their line
    Now the mountain peaks are stronger
    On the sunset's golden mine.
    Valleys deep in purple sleep.
    All the sky is crimson wine.

    Creeps a gray, the purple meeting
    As it covers hill and vale,
    And the clouds to westward fleeting
    Paler grow and still more pale.
    Broods a mist of amethyst.
    One by one the sunbeams fail.

    Now the silhouette of mountains
    On the sky's forgotten glow
    Harks the vesper song of fountains
    In the deepening vale below.
    Clouds at rest on heaven's breast
    Dream a benison of snow.

    Time of revery and musing,
    Quiet peace your presence fills,—
    Hour of all the day my choosing,
    When the heart of Nature thrills,—
    Most of all I feel thy thrall—
    Twilight time among the hills!

  2. Twilight

    by Ruby Archer

    Twilight enters like a spirit
    With a finger on her lip:
    "Done, O Toiler, be thy labor,
    Lethe's cup I bid thee sip.

    "Let me cool thy brow with dreaming,
    Let me glad thine heart with peace,
    And from every care of daytime
    Give thy being full release.

    "Though I cannot thrill thy pulses
    With the ardent glow of noon,
    Yet I bring a tender glamour—
    Evening star and crescent moon.

    "Weary, lean upon me wholly—
    Heavy head and burning breast.
    I will give thee calm for grieving,
    For thy trouble—perfect rest."

  3. When Twilight Comes With Dreams

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    O let the music play a little longer,
    And sweetheart clasp me closer to your breast.
    Life is strong, and death; but love is stronger—
    And sweeter, sweeter, rest.

    Oh, sweet is rest when love is watching over,
    And twilight comes with dreams that reassure;
    Weaving out of the silences that hover
    Hopes which must endure.

  4. Evening Hymn

    by Anonymous

    Come to the sunset tree,
    The day is past and gone;
    The woodman's ax lies free,
    And the reaper's work is done;
    The twilight star to heaven,
    And the summer dew to flowers,
    And rest to us is given,
    By the soft evening hours.

    Sweet is the hour of rest,
    Pleasant the woods' low sigh,
    And the gleaming of the west,
    And the turf whereon we lie,
    When the burden and the heat
    Of the laborer's task is o'er,
    And kindly voices greet
    The tired one at the door.

    Yes, tuneful is the sound
    That dwells in whispering boughs:
    Welcome the freshness round,
    And the gale that fans our brows;
    But rest more sweet and still
    Than ever the nightfall gave,
    Our yearning hearts shall fill,
    In the world beyond the grave.

    There, shall no tempests blow,
    Nor scorching noontide heat;
    There, shall be no more snow,
    No weary, wandering feet;
    So we lift our trusting eyes
    From the hills our fathers trod,
    To the quiet of the skies,
    To the Sabbath of our God.

  5. "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold"

    by Bliss Carman

    Now the lengthening twilights hold
    Tints of lavender and gold,
    And the marshy places ring
    With the pipers of the spring.

    Now the solitary star
    Lays a path on meadow streams,
    And I know it is not far
    To the open door of dreams.

    Lord of April, in my hour
    May the dogwood be in flower,
    And my angel through the dome
    Of spring twilight lead me home.

  6. At Evening

    by Ruby Archer

    The day-tone faint in far vibration rolls,
    'Till all the earth is held in evening hush
    And Heaven has gone to sleep, his cheek aflush.—
    "Amen!" the night is whispering to our souls.

  7. Nighttime

  8. Night

    by Augusta True

    Majestic mistress of the day, how calm, how kind thou art,
    When all his weary creatures lay their heads against thy heart.
    Thou bendest o'er the darkened land with queenly diadem,
    And nature lifts her fainting hand to touch thy garment's hem.
    Thy tears are her reviving shower, so mild each mood of thine.
    The opening bud, the wakening flower, send incense to thy shrine.
    Hushed by thy presence, glorious night, our petty strife dispel—
    Brood o'er us on thy endless flight, and whisper, "All is well."

  9. Hymn to the Night

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    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!

  10. Night in the West

    by Grace C. Howes

    There is something uplifting, inspiring,
    In the plains of the beautiful West,
    When calmly the day is expiring
    And all Nature is going to rest.

    The sun sets in glorious splendor,
    Then a hush settles over the world,
    The voices of Day sink to silence
    As the mantle of Night is unfurled.

    Gently the shadows grow darker.
    The light slowly fades from the West.
    The countryfolk cease all their labors
    And partake of the sleep of the blest.

    The moon, in her majesty, rises,
    The delicate queen of the night,
    And as she mounts higher and higher
    She floods all the world with her light.

    From afar, through the silence, there comes
    The wild coyote's quavering howl,
    Then, as mystery and silence resume
    I hear the sad hoot of the owl.

    Each creature of Nature rejoices
    In the wonderful night, Heaven-born,
    Sweetly they sleep through the silence
    To wake at the coming of morn.

    Then give me the beautiful prairie,
    With its miles of undented sod,
    It breathes of the peace of the angels,
    And the goodness and mercy of God.

  11. To the Evening Wind

    by William Cullen Bryant

    Spirit that breathest through my lattice, thou
    That cool'st the twilight of the sultry day,
    Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow;
    Thou hast been out upon the deep at play,
    Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
    Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray
    And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee
    To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea!

    Nor I alone—a thousand bosoms round
    Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;
    And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
    Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;
    And, languishing to hear thy grateful sound,
    Lies the vast inland stretched beyond the sight.
    Go forth, into the gathering shade; go forth,
    God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth!

    Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
    Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse
    The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
    Summoning from the innumerable boughs
    The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast:
    Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows
    The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,
    And 'twixt the o'ershadowing branches and the grass.

    The faint old man shall lean his silver head
    To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep,
    And dry the moistened curls that overspread
    His temples, while his breathing grows more deep;
    And they who stand about the sick man's bed,
    Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
    And softly part his curtains to allow
    Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.

    Go—but the circle of eternal change,
    Which is the life of nature, shall restore,
    With sounds and scents from all thy mighty range,
    Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more;
    Sweet odours in the sea-air, sweet and strange,
    Shall tell the home-sick mariner of the shore;
    And, listening to thy murmur, he shall deem
    He hears the rustling leaf and running stream.

  12. Good Night

    by Eliza Follen

    The sun is hidden from our sight,
    The birds are sleeping sound;
    'T is time to say to all, "Good night!"
    And give a kiss all round.

    Good night, my father, mother, dear!
    Now kiss your little son;
    Good night, my friends, both far and near!
    Good night to every one.

    Good night, ye merry, merry birds!
    Sleep well till morning light;
    Perhaps, if you could sing in words,
    You would have said, "Good night!"

    To all my pretty flowers, good night!
    You blossom while I sleep;
    And all the stars, that shine so bright,
    With you their watches keep.

    The moon is lighting up the skies,
    The stars are sparkling there;
    'T is time to shut our weary eyes,
    And say our evening prayer.

  13. Good Night

    Samuel Griswold Goodrich

    The sun has sunk behind the hills,
    The shadows o'er the landscape creep;
    A drowsy sound the woodland fills,
    As nature folds her arms to sleep:
    Good night—good night.

    The chattering jay has ceased his din,
    The noisy robin sings no more;
    The crow, his mountain haunt within,
    Dreams 'mid the forest's surly roar:
    Good night—good night.

    The sunlit cloud floats dim and pale;
    The dew is falling soft and still,
    The mist hangs trembling o'er the vale,
    And silence broods o'er yonder mill:
    Good night—good night.

    The rose, so ruddy in the light,
    Bends on its stem all rayless now;
    And by its side a lily white,
    A sister shadow, seems to bow:
    Good night—good night.

    The bat may wheel on silent wing,
    The fox his guilty vigils keep,
    The boding owl his dirges sing;
    But love and innocence will sleep:
    Good night—good night.

  14. Harry and the Guidepost

    by Anonymous

    The night was dark, the sun was hid
    Beneath the mountain gray,
    And not a single star appeared
    To shoot a silver ray.

    Across the heath the owlet flew,
    And screamed along the blast;
    And onward, with a quickened step,
    Benighted Harry passed.

    Now, in thickest darkness plunged,
    He groped his way to find;
    And now, he thought he saw beyond,
    A form of horrid kind.

    In deadly white it upward rose,
    Of cloak and mantle bare,
    And held its naked arms across,
    To catch him by the hair.

    Poor Harry felt his blood run cold,
    At what before him stood;
    But then, thought he, no harm, I'm sure,
    Can happen to the good.

    So, calling all his courage up,
    He to the monster went;
    And eager through the dismal gloom
    His piercing eyes he bent.

    And when he came well nigh the ghost
    That gave him such affright,
    He clapped his hands upon his side,
    And loudly laughed outright.

    For 't was a friendly guidepost stood,
    His wandering steps to guide;
    And thus he found that to the good,
    No evil could betide.

    Ah well, thought he, one thing I've learned,
    Nor shall I soon forget;
    Whatever frightens me again,
    I'll march straight up to it.

    And when I hear an idle tale,
    Of monster or of ghost,
    I'll tell of this, my lonely walk,
    And one tall, white guidepost.

  15. Sleeping

    by Emily Dickinson

    A long, long sleep, a famous sleep
    That makes no show for dawn
    By stretch of limb or stir of lid, —
    An independent one.

    Was ever idleness like this?
    Within a hut of stone
    To bask the centuries away
    Nor once look up for noon?

  16. Evening

    by Emily Dickinson

    The cricket sang,
    And set the sun,
    And workmen finished, one by one,
    Their seam the day upon.

    The low grass loaded with the dew,
    The twilight stood as strangers do
    With hat in hand, polite and new,
    To stay as if, or go.

    A vastness, as a neighbor, came, —
    A wisdom without face or name,
    A peace, as hemispheres at home, —
    And so the night became.

  17. Dawn

    by Emily Dickinson

    When night is almost done,
    And sunrise grows so near
    That we can touch the spaces,
    It 's time to smooth the hair

    And get the dimples ready,
    And wonder we could care
    For that old faded midnight
    That frightened but an hour.

  18. Spring Night

    by Bliss Carman

    In the wondrous star-sown night,
    In the first sweet warmth of spring,
    I lie awake and listen
    To hear the glad earth sing.

    I hear the brook in the wood
    Murmuring, as it goes,
    The song of the happy journey
    Only the wise heart knows.

    I hear the trilling note
    Of the tree-frog under the hill,
    And the clear and watery treble
    Of his brother, silvery shrill.

    And then I wander away
    Through the mighty forest of Sleep,
    To follow the fairy music
    To the shore of an endless deep.

  19. Night Lyric

    by Bliss Carman

    In the world's far edges
    Faint and blue,
    Where the rocky ledges
    Stand in view,

    Fades the rosy, tender
    Evening light;
    Then in starry splendor
    Comes the night.

    So a stormy lifetime
    Comes to close,
    Spirit's mortal strifetime
    Finds repose.

    Faith and toil and vision
    Crowned at last,
    Failure and derision

    All the daylight splendor
    Far above,
    Calm and sure and tender
    Comes thy love.

  20. Night

    by Madison Cawein

    Out of the East, as from an unknown shore,
    Thou comest with thy children in thine arms,—
    Slumber and Dream,—whom mortals all adore,
    Their flowing raiment sculptured to their charms:
    Soft on thy breast thy lovely children rest,
    Laid like twin roses in one balmy nest.
    Silent thou comest, swiftly too and slow.
    There is no other presence like to thine,
    When thou approachest with thy babes divine,
    Thy shadowy face above them bending low,
    Blowing the ringlets from their brows of snow.

    Oft have I taken Sleep from thy dark arms,
    And fondled her fair head, with poppies wreathed,
    Within my bosom's depths, until its storms
    With her were hushed and I but faintly breathed.
    And then her sister, Dream, with frolic art
    Arose from rest, and on my sleeping heart
    Blew bubbles of dreams where elfin worlds were lost;
    Worlds where my stranger soul sang songs to me,
    And talked with spirits by a rainbowed sea,
    Or smiled, an unfamiliar shape of frost,
    Floating on gales of breathless melody.

    Day comes to us in garish glory garbed;
    But thou, thou bringest to the tired heart
    Rest and deep silence, in which are absorbed
    All the vain tumults of the mind and mart.
    Whether thou comest with hands full of stars,
    Or clothed in storm and clouds, the lightning bars,
    Rolling the thunder like some mighty dress,
    God moves with thee; we seem to hear His feet,
    Wind-like, along the floors of Heaven beat;
    To see His face, revealed in awfulness,
    Through thee, O Night, to ban us or to bless.

  21. Frogs at Night

    by Madison Cawein

    I heard the toads and frogs last night
    When snug in bed, and all was still;
    I lay and listened there until
    It seemed a church where one, with might,
    Was preaching high and very shrill:
    "The will of God!
    The will of God!"
    To which a voice, below the hill,
    Basso-profundo'd deep, "The will!"
    "The will of God!
    The will of God!"
    "The will! The will!"
    They croaked and chorused hoarse or shrill.

    It made me sleepy; sleepier
    Than any sermon ever heard:
    And so I turned upon my ear
    And went to-sleep and never stirred:
    But in my sleep I seemed to hear:
    "The word of God!
    The word of God!"
    Chanted and quavered, chirped and purred,
    To which one deep voice croaked, "The word!"
    "The word of God!
    The word of God!"
    "The word! The word!"
    And I slept on and never stirred.

  22. Night

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    I have minded me
    Of the noon-day brightness,
    And the crickets' drowsy
    Singing in the sunshine…

    I have minded me
    Of the slim marsh-grasses
    That the winds at twilight,
    Dying, scarcely ripple…

    And I cannot sleep.

    I have minded me
    Of a lily-pond,
    Where the waters sway
    All the moonlit leaves
    And the curled long stems…

    And I cannot sleep.

  23. A Night in June

    by Madison Cawein

    White as a lily moulded of Earth's milk
    That eve the moon bloomed in a hyacinth sky;
    Soft in the gleaming glens the wind went by,
    Faint as a phantom clothed in unseen silk:
    Bright as a naiad's leap, from shine to shade
    The runnel twinkled through the shaken brier;
    Above the hills one long cloud, pulsed with fire,
    Flashed like a great enchantment-welded blade.
    And when the western sky seemed some weird land,
    And night a witching spell at whose command
    One sloping star fell green from heav'n; and deep
    The warm rose opened for the moth to sleep;
    Then she, consenting, laid her hands in his,
    And lifted up her lips for their first kiss.

    There where they part, the porch's steps are strewn
    With wind-blown petals of the purple vine;
    Athwart the porch the shadow of a pine
    Cleaves the white moonlight; and like some calm rune
    Heaven says to Earth, shines the majestic moon;
    And now a meteor draws a lilac line
    Across the welkin, as if God would sign
    The perfect poem of this night of June.
    The wood-wind stirs the flowering chestnut-tree,
    Whose curving blossoms strew the glimmering grass
    Like crescents that wind-wrinkled waters glass;
    And, like a moonstone in a frill of flame,
    The dewdrop trembles on the peony,
    As in a lover's heart his sweetheart's name.

  24. A Summer's Night

    by Laurence Dunbar

    The night is dewy as a maiden's mouth,
    The skies are bright as are a maiden's eyes,
    Soft as a maiden's breath the wind that flies
    Up from the perfumed bosom of the South.

    Like sentinels, the pines stand in the park;
    And hither hastening, like rakes that roam,
    With lamps to light their wayward footsteps home,
    The fireflies come stagg'ring down the dark.

  25. Evening

    by C. S. Calverley

    Kate! if e’er thy light foot lingers
    On the lawn, when up the fells
    Steals the Dark, and fairy fingers
    Close unseen the pimpernels:
    When, his thighs with sweetness laden,
    From the meadow comes the bee,
    And the lover and the maiden
    Stand beneath the trysting tree:—

    Lingers on, till stars unnumber’d
    Tremble in the breeze-swept tarn,
    And the bat that all day slumber’d
    Flits about the lonely barn;
    And the shapes that shrink from garish
    Noon are peopling cairn and lea;
    And thy sire is almost bearish
    If kept waiting for his tea:—

    And the screech-owl scares the peasant
    As he skirts some churchyard drear;
    And the goblins whisper pleasant
    Tales in Miss Rossetti’s ear;
    Importuning her in strangest,
    Sweetest tones to buy their fruits:—
    O be careful that thou changest,
    On returning home, thy boots.

  26. The Stars and the Falling Dew

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The sun, like a hero, whose chariot rolled
    In glory, has reached the west;
    And wrapped in his mantle of crimson and gold,
    Has sunken away to rest.
    The stars from the skies
    Look forth like the eyes
    Of Angels, the earth to view;
    While timid and soft,
    Their light form aloft,
    Comes down with the falling dew.

    The flowers, that, oppressed by the monarch of day,
    Have bowing confessed his power,
    Are lifting their foreheads, relieved of his ray,
    To the cool of the evening hour.
    And each holding up
    Her emerald cup,
    Her delicate draught to renew,
    Their trust is repaid,
    While their thirst is allayed
    By the drops of the falling dew.

    The birds are at rest in their own little homes,
    Their songs are forgotten in sleep;
    And low and uncertain the murmuring comes
    From over the slumbering deep.
    The breezes that sighed
    Have fainted and died
    In the boughs they were quivering through,
    And motion and sound
    Have ceased from around
    To yield to the falling dew.

    And gently it comes, as the shadowy wing
    Of night o'er the earth is unfurled;
    A silent, refreshing and spirit-like thing,
    To brighten and solace the world!
    As the face of a friend.
    When in sorrow we bend—
    Like a heart ever tender and true,
    When darkness is ours,
    To the earth and the flowers,
    Are the stars and the falling dew.

  27. Nocturne

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Soothe, soothe
    The day-fall, soothe,
    Till wrinkling winds and seas are smooth,—
    Till yon low band
    Of charméd strand
    Puff seaward dreams from the inner land,—
    Till, lapped in mild half-lights, our dream-blown boat
    Is felt to float, to fall, to float.

    A sundown rose
    Delays and glows
    O'er yon spired peak's remoter snows.
    Uprolling soon
    A red-ripe moon
    Lolls in the pines in drowsed half-swoon;
    And thin moon-shades pace out to us, and shift
    Our visions as we drift, and drift.

    From night-wide blooms
    In coppice glooms
    Set outward voyaging spice perfumes.
    The slow-pulsed seas,
    The shadowed trees,—
    The night-spell holds us one with these,
    Till, Love, we scarce know life from sleep,—we seem
    To smile a little, dream, and dream.

  28. Dark

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Now, for the night is hushed and blind with rain,
    My soul desires communion, Dear, with thee.
    But hour by hour my spirit gets not free,—
    Hour by still hour my longing strives in vain.
    The thick dark hems me, ev'n to the restless brain.
    The wind's confusion vague encumbers me.
    Ev'n passionate memory, grown too faint to see
    Thy features, stirs not in her straitening chain.

    And thou, dost thou too feel this strange divorce
    Of will from power? The spell of night and wind,
    Baffling desire and dream, dost thou too find?
    Not distance parts us, Dear; but this dim force,
    Intangible, holds us helpless, hushed with pain,
    Dumb with the dark, blind with the gusts of rain!

  29. The Night Sky

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    O deep of Heaven, 't is thou alone art boundless,
    'T is thou alone our balance shall not weigh,
    'T is thou alone our fathom-line finds soundless,—
    Whose infinite our finite must obey!
    Through thy blue realms and down thy starry reaches
    Thought voyages forth beyond the furthest fire,
    And, homing from no sighted shoreline, teaches
    Thee measureless as is the soul's desire.
    O deep of Heaven, no beam of Pleiad ranging
    Eternity may bridge thy gulf of spheres!
    The ceaseless hum that fills thy sleep unchanging
    Is rain of the innumerable years.
    Our worlds, our suns, our ages, these but stream
    Through thine abiding like a dateless dream.

  30. Night in a Down-town Street

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Not in the eyed, expectant gloom,
    Where soaring peaks repose
    And incommunicable space
    Companions with the snows;

    Not in the glimmering dusk that crawls
    Upon the clouded sea,
    Where bourneless wave on bourneless wave
    Complains continually;

    Not in the palpable dark of woods
    Where groping hands clutch fear,
    Does Night her deeps of solitude
    Reveal unveiled as here.

    The street is a grim canon carved
    In the eternal stone,
    That knows no more the rushing stream
    It anciently has known.

    The emptying tide of life has drained
    The iron channel dry.
    Strange winds from the forgotten day
    Draw down, and dream, and sigh.

    The narrow heaven, the desolate moon
    Made wan with endless years,
    Seem less immeasurably remote
    Than laughter, love, or tears.

  31. Midnight

    by Paul Hamilton Hayne

    The Moon, a ghost of her sweet self,
    And wading through a watery cloud,
    Which wraps her lustre like a shroud,
    Creeps up the gray, funereal sky,
    Wearily! how wearily!

    The Wind, with low, bewildered wail
    A homeless spirit, sadly lost,
    Sweeps shuddering o'er the pallid frost,
    And faints afar, with heart-sick sigh,
    Drearily! how drearily!

    And now a deathly stillness falls
    On earth and heaven, save when the shrill,
    Malignant owl o'er heath and hill
    Smites the wan silence with a cry,
    Eerily! how eerily!

  32. Evening, Near the Sea

    by Edward Dowden

    Light ebbs from off the Earth; the fields are strange,
    Dark, trackless, tenantless; now the mute sky
    Resigns itself to Night and Memory,
    And no wind will yon sunken clouds derange,
    No glory enrapture them; from cot or grange
    The rare voice ceases; one long-breathed sigh,
    And steeped in summer sleep the world must lie;
    All things are acquiescing in the change.
    Hush! while the vaulted hollow of the night
    Deepens, what voice is this the sea sends forth,
    Disconsolate iterance, a passionless moan?
    Ah! now the Day is gone, and tyrannous Light,
    And the calm presence of fruit-bearing Earth:
    Cry, Sea! it is thy hour; thou art alone.

  33. Night

    by E. G. A. Holmes

    Night comes and stars their wonted vigils keep
    In soft unfathomable depths of sky:
    In mystic veil of shadowy darkness lie
    The infinite expanses of the deep,—
    Save where the silvery paths of moonlight sleep,
    And rise and sink for ever dreamily
    With the majestic heaving of the sea.
    Night comes, and tenfold gloom where dark and steep,
    Into black waters of a land-locked bay
    The cliffs descend: there never tempest raves
    To break the awful slumber; far below
    Glimmer the foamy fringes white as snow;
    And sounds of strangled thunder rise alway,
    And midnight moanings of imprisoned waves.

  34. On Evening

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    A stillness now pervades the busy world,
    As night approaches with her mantle gray,
    The cricket now begins her evening lay,
    And all to peace, and quiet sleep, are lull'd.

    This is the hour, if bliss is felt below,
    For sweet reflection now to make complete,—
    Her quiet solitude her calm retreat,—
    More of herself, and less of earth to know.

    The hour to contemplate the soul's true worth,
    When noise and busy care are lull'd away;
    The moon comes forth behind her sable gray,
    And all the stars begin to sparkle forth.

    Now sweet composure calms the mind to rest,
    And all is still, save where the distant bell
    Dies on the ear, the watch-men cry "all's well,"
    Then quiet peace responsive fills the breast.

    Here, in an hour of contemplation sweet,
    The soul can sing with unmolested ease,
    Of future joys, where all may find release
    From this vain world, transform'd to joys complete.

    This world's a scene of varied light and shade,
    Where grief and tears successive cross our way;
    But there's a rest where darkness turns to day—
    Where sorrow never shall the soul invade.

  35. Night

    by James Montgomery

    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
    Upon 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 plow 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;
    On the ocean's dark expanse,
    To hail the Pleiades, or catch
    The full moon's earliest glance,
    That brings unto the home-sick mind
    All we have loved and left behind.

    Night is the time for care;
    Brooding on hours misspent,
    To see the specter Of despair
    Come to our lonely tent;
    Like Brutus, midst his slumbering host,
    Startled by Caesar's stalwart ghost.

    Night is the time to muse;
    Then from the eye the soul
    Takes flight, and with expanding views
    Beyond the starry pole,
    Descries athwart the abyss
    Of night The dawn of uncreated light.

    Night is the time to pray;
    Our Savior 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!

  36. Two O'Clock

    by Christopher Morley

    Night after night goes by: and clocks still chime
    And stars are changing patterns in the dark,
    And watches tick, and over-puissant Time
    Benumbs the eager brain. The dogs that bark,
    The trains that roar and rattle in the night,
    The very cats that prowl, all quiet find
    And leave the darkness empty, silent quite:
    Sleep comes to chloroform the fretting mind.

    So all things end: and what is left at last?
    Some scribbled sonnets tossed upon the floor,
    A memory of easy days gone past,
    A run-down watch, a pipe, some clothes we wore—
    And in the darkened room I lean to know
    How warm her dreamless breath does pause and flow.

  37. After Sunset

    by Grace Hazard Conkling

    I have an understanding with the hills
    At evening when the slanted radiance fills
    Their hollows, and the great winds let them be,
    And they are quiet and look down at me.
    Oh, then I see the patience in their eyes
    Out of the centuries that made them wise.
    They lend me hoarded memory and I learn
    Their thoughts of granite and their whims of fern,
    And why a dream of forests must endure
    Though every tree be slain: and how the pure
    Invisible beauty has a word so brief,
    A flower can say it or a shaken leaf,
    But few may ever snare it in a song,
    Though for the quest a life is not too long.
    When the blue hills grow tender, when they pull
    The twilight close with gesture beautiful,
    And shadows are their garments, and the air
    Deepens, and the wild veery is at prayer,
    Their arms are strong around me: and I know
    That somehow I shall follow when you go
    To the still land beyond the evening star,
    Where everlasting hills and valleys are,
    And silence may not hurt us any more,
    And terror shall be past, and grief, and war.

  38. Desert of Arabia

    by Robert Southey

    How beautiful is night!
    A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
    No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,
    Breaks the serene of heaven:
    In full orbed glory yonder moon divine
    Rolls through the dark blue depths
    Beneath her steady ray
    The desert circle spreads
    Like the round ocean girdled with the sky
    How beautiful is night

    The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    – Francis William Bourdillon
    The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

  39. Acquainted with the Night

    by Robert Frost

    I have been one acquainted with the night.
    I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
    I have outwalked the furthest city light.

    I have looked down the saddest city lane.
    I have passed by the watchman on his beat
    And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

    I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
    When far away an interrupted cry
    Came over houses from another street,

    But not to call me back or say good-bye;
    And further still at an unearthly height,
    One luminary clock against the sky

    Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
    I have been one acquainted with the night.

  40. Good Night and Good Morning

    by Lord Houghton

    A fair little girl sat under a tree,
    Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
    Then smoothed her work and folded it right,
    And said, "Dear work, good night, good night!"

    Such a number of rooks came over her head,
    Crying "Caw, caw!" on their way to bed.
    She said, as she watched their curious flight,
    "Little black things, good night, good night!"

    The horses neighed, and the oxen lowed,
    The sheep's "bleat, bleat!" came over the road;
    All seeming to say, with a quiet delight,
    "Good little girl, good night, good night!"

    She did not say to the sun, "Good night!"
    Though she saw him there like a ball of light,
    For she knew he had God's time to keep
    All over the world, and never could sleep.

    The tall pink foxglove bowed his head;
    The violets curtsied and went to bed;
    And good little Lucy tied up her hair,
    And said, on her knees, her favorite prayer.

    And while on her pillow she softly lay,
    She knew nothing more till again it was day;
    And all things said to the beautiful sun,
    "Good morning, good morning! our work is begun."

  41. 'Tis Night

    by Mary M. Bowen

    ’Tis night on the mountain,
    ’Tis night on the sea,
    Mild dew drops are kissing
    The bloom-covered lea;
    Like plumes gently waving,
    The soft zephyrs creep;
    The birds are all dreaming,
    Then sleep, darling, sleep.

    ’Tis night on the mountain,
    ’Tis night on the sea,
    Away in the distance,
    The stars twinkle free;
    O’er all of His creatures,
    His watch He will keep,
    Who guardeth the sparrows—
    Then sleep, darling, sleep.

  42. Now the Day is Over

    by Sabine Baring-Gould

    Now the day is over,
    Night is drawing nigh,
    Shadows of the evening
    Steal across the sky.

    Now the darkness gathers,
    Stars begin to peep;
    Birds, and beasts, and flowers
    Soon will be asleep.

    Jesus, give the weary
    Calm and sweet repose;
    With thy tenderest blessing
    May our eyelids close.

    Grant to little children,
    Visions bright of Thee;
    Guard the sailors, tossing
    On the deep blue sea.

    Comfort every suff’rer
    Watching late in pain.
    Those who plan some evil
    From their sin restrain.

    Through the long night-watches,
    May thine angels spread
    Their white wings above me,
    Watching round my bed.

    When the morning wakens,
    Then may I arise
    Pure, and fresh, and sinless
    In Thy holy eyes.

  43. Evening

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    At my window what delight
    Here to sit and watch the night,
    Stealing after fleeting day,
    Soft and quiet all the way.
    Through my window like a flute's
    Comes the robin's dying notes,
    While above me dim and far
    Silent breaks the evening star.

    At my window o'er the street,
    In the twilight calm and sweet,
    From dim vistas of the past
    Dreams come to me thick and fast;
    Some are clothed in bright array,
    Phantoms of a happier day—
    Some, wan spectral shades assume,
    Draped in anguished hours of doom.

    This brief span of years we lease
    Gives us fewer hours of peace
    Than it does of strife and toll—
    Therefore when subsides the broil,
    Let it be but one brief hour,
    'Tis a providential dower,
    Just a stop upon the road
    Easing us of life's great load.

    So to-night is one of those
    Blissful times of blest repose;
    And in unison I seem
    With night's universal dream.
    All is quiet near and far
    From the lily to the star,
    And my soul in dreamy ease
    Strikes the soothing chords of peace.

  44. Windy Nights

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Whenever the moon and stars are set,
    Whenever the wind is high,
    All night long in the dark and wet,
    A man goes riding by.
    Late in the night when the fires are out,
    Why does he gallop and gallop about?

    Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
    And ships are tossed at sea,
    By, on the highway, low and loud,
    By at the gallop goes he.
    By at the gallop he goes, and then
    By he comes back at the gallop again.

  45. At Night

    by Kate Louise Wheeler

    At night when all the world is still,
    And stars in glory shine,
    There comes to earth a whisper sweet
    Of peace and love divine.

    And gazing upward to the sky,
    Where million lights appear,
    We seem to see the heaven beyond,
    And feel that Christ is near.

    The weary day is past and gone,
    The angels sing again
    Of glory to the God on high
    And "Peace, good will toward men."

    We seem to hear beyond the night
    The music soft and sweet;
    And laying all our burdens down,
    We rest at Jesus' feet.

    Our trusting hearts and hope of heaven
    Have banished doubt and care,
    And Christ is waiting to forgive,—
    To answer every prayer.

    This love immortal is our guide,
    And shorter seems the way;
    Beyond the stars and night of earth
    Is home and endless day.

  46. August Night

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    We had to wait for the heat to pass,
    And I was lying on the grass,

    While Mother sat outside the door,
    And I saw how many stars there were.

    Beyond the tree, beyond the air,
    And more and more were always there.

    So many that I think they must
    Be sprinkled on the sky like dust.

    A dust is coming through the sky!
    And I felt myself begin to cry.

    So many of them and so small,
    Suppose I cannot know them all.

  47. October Night

    by Ada A. Mosher

    In breathless awe of this strange midnight-noon
    The mute woods stand and stare bewildered o'er:
    Heaped at their feet lie glittering Louis d'or;
    Piled high the golden scudo and doubloon,

    The hoarded earnings of their youth of June,
    Are these surprised of bandit-meteor?
    How pale the face yon spectral Sycamore
    Lifts, tremulously, to the midnight moon!

  48. On Venice Waters

    by Ruby Archer

    It is night in Venice,—night.
    Ah—forever let us dream
    In the starry mystic gleam
    On the drifting walls alight
    With a pale, reflected glamor
    Of the waters' dusk and white.

    In a gondola we glide
    By those ancient palace walls,
    And anon soft music falls,—
    Crystal music on the tide,
    While a sculptured Fate or Amor
    Half-revealed, the shadows hide.

    Arch of white divides the gloom,
    And a deeper shade beneath
    Marks a bridge where many a wreath
    In old days of war and doom
    Passed above in joy or sorrow—
    Laurel crown or deck of tomb.

    Mark the long, lithe silhouette
    Of the leaning gondolier,
    And his languored singing hear,—
    Jewel words in silver set.
    How the untrained accents borrow
    Beauty from unknown regret!

  49. In the Night

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    The light was burning very dim,
    The little blaze was brown and red,
    And I waked just in time to see
    A panther going under the bed.

    I saw him crowd his body down
    To make it fit the little space.
    I saw the streaks along his back,
    And bloody bubbles on his face.

    Long marks of light came out of my eyes
    And went into the lamp—and there
    Was Something waiting in the room-
    I saw it sitting on a chair.

    Its only eye was shining red,
    Its face was very long and gray,
    Its two bent teeth were sticking out,
    And all its jaw was torn away.

    Its legs were flat against the chair,
    Its arms were hanging like a swing.
    It made its eye look into me,
    But did not move or say a thing.

    I tried to call and tried to scream,
    But all my throat was shut and dry.
    My little heart was jumping fast,
    I couldn't talk or cry.

    And when I'd look outside the bed
    I'd see the panther going in.
    The streaks were moving on his back,
    The bubbles on his chin.

    I couldn't help it if they came,
    I couldn't save myself at all,
    And so I only waited there
    And turned my face against the wall.

  50. A July Night

    by John Todhunter

    The dreamy, long, delicious afternoon
    That filled the flowers with honey, and made well
    With earliest nectar many a secret cell
    Of pulping peaches, with a murmurous tune
    Lulled all the woods and leas; but now, how soon
    The winds have woke to break the sultry spell.
    The drowsy flocks that low in the west did dwell,
    Like oreads chased fleet madly by the moon!
    So, Cleopatra-like has rich July,
    A queen of many moods, outdreamed the day
    To hold by night wild revel. Odors warm
    Come panted with each gust, as royally,
    Magnificent alike in calm or storm,
    With some voluptuous anger she would play.

  51. The Dark

    by Annette Wynne

    The dark's a curtain black and tall
    That covers up the trees and all;
    The dark's a curtain black and wide
    That covers up the world outside;
    But in the room the lamp's good light
    Keeps the darkness out of sight,
    Until we eat our milk and bread,
    And play a bit and go to bed;
    And then the curtain black and tall
    Covers up the room and all;
    And then the curtain black and wide
    Covers up the world inside.

  52. The Pleasant Dark

    by Annette Wynne

    The pleasant dark that comes at night
    Is just as friendly as the light,
    Dark wraps a curtain over all—
    The trees, the houses, far and tall;
    The pleasant dark comes down to bless
    The world with mother-tenderness.
    She folds her children in her arms
    And keeps them safe from loud alarms;
    The far green hills where children play
    Are hidden till the brand-new day.
    For hills and eyelids know what's best—
    That darkness-time is time for rest.
    The pleasant dark that comes at night
    Is just as friendly as the light.

  53. When the Day Is Over

    by Annette Wynne

    When the day is over, Mother comes and says "good-night"
    Very low and then puts out the light;
    And God who sees the whole world go to sleep,
    Says softly to us all when shadows creep,
    "My tired children, now, good-night"—
    And then comes dark, for God puts out the light.

  54. Sleep Time

    by Annette Wynne

    When day is over, Mother sings songs
    And each child climbs into the crib where he belongs,
    And says his prayers, and thinks of things he did all day,
    Whether at school or home or on the street at play.
    But he never quite gets through for his eyes shut tight
    And he doesn't even hear Mother putting out the light.

  55. The Listeners

    by Walter de la Mare

    ‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
    Knocking on the moonlit door;
    And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
    Of the forest’s ferny floor:
    And a bird flew up out of the turret,
    Above the Traveller’s head:
    And he smote upon the door again a second time;
    ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
    But no one descended to the Traveller;
    No head from the leaf-fringed sill
    Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
    Where he stood perplexed and still.
    But only a host of phantom listeners
    That dwelt in the lone house then
    Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
    To that voice from the world of men:
    Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
    That goes down to the empty hall,
    Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
    By the lonely Traveller’s call.
    And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
    Their stillness answering his cry,
    While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
    ’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
    For he suddenly smote on the door, even
    Louder, and lifted his head:—
    ‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
    That I kept my word,’ he said.
    Never the least stir made the listeners,
    Though every word he spake
    Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
    From the one man left awake:
    Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
    And the sound of iron on stone,
    And how the silence surged softly backward,
    When the plunging hoofs were gone.

  56. An Hymn To The Evening

    by Phillis Wheatley

    Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main
    The pealing thunder shook the heav'nly plain;
    Majestic grandeur! From the zephyr's wing,
    Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.
    Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes,
    And through the air their mingled music floats.
    Through all the heav'ns what beauteous dies are spread!
    But the west glories in the deepest red:
    So may our breasts with ev'ry virtue glow,
    The living temples of our God below!
    Fill'd with the praise of him who gives the light,
    And draws the sable curtains of the night,
    Let placid slumbers sooth each weary mind,
    At morn to wake more heav'nly, more refin'd;
    So shall the labours of the day begin
    More pure, more guarded from the snares of sin.
    Night's leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes,
    Then cease, my song, till fair Aurora rise.

  57. Winter Nights

    by Thomas Campion

    Now winter nights enlarge
    The number of their hours,
    And clouds their storms discharge
    Upon the airy towers.
    Let now the chimneys blaze
    And cups o'erflow with wine;
    Let well-tuned words amaze
    With harmony divine.
    Now yellow waxen lights
    Shall wait on honey love,
    While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
    Sleep's leaden spells remove.

    This time doth well dispense
    With lovers' long discourse;
    Much speech hath some defence,
    Though beauty no remorse.
    All do not all things well;
    Some measures comely tread,
    Some knotted riddles tell,
    Some poems smoothly read.
    The summer hath his joys,
    And winter his delights;
    Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
    They shorten tedious nights.

  58. Night

    by Douglas Malloch

    The arms of night enfold the tired day,
    The heavens Hght their million little lamps,
    And, where the sun beheld the world's affray,
    The gentle moon reviews its sleeping camps.
    Thank God for night; thank God that men must sleep;
    Thank God that men must pause in toil for gain—
    For, did they not, their eyes must ever weep.
    For, did they not, their hearts must ever pain.
    Thank God for sleep; thank God for night and rest;
    I take the balm and press it to my eyes.
    Here I shall slumber, head upon my breast,
    And here, refreshed, behold the new day rise.

  59. Serenade

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Stars of the summer night!
    Far in yon azure deeps,
    Hide, hide your golden light!
    She sleeps!
    My lady sleeps!

    Moon of the summer night!
    Far down yon western steeps,
    Sink, sink in silver light!
    She sleeps!
    My lady sleeps!

    Wind of the summer night!
    Where yonder woodbine creeps,
    Fold, fold thy pinions light!
    She sleeps!
    My lady sleeps!

    Dreams of the summer night!
    Tell her, her lover keeps
    Watch! While in slumbers light
    She sleeps!
    My lady sleeps!

  60. Lullaby

    by Louisa May Alcott

    "Now the day is done,
    Now the shepherd sun
    Drives his white flocks from the sky;
    Now the flowers rest
    On their mother's breast,
    Hushed by her low lullaby.

    "Now the glowworms glance,
    Now the fireflies dance,
    Under fern-boughs green and high;
    And the western breeze
    To the forest trees
    Chants a tuneful lullaby.

    "Now 'mid shadows deep
    Falls blesséd sleep,
    Like dew from the summer sky;
    And the whole earth dreams,
    In the moon's soft beams,
    While night breathes a lullaby.

    "Now, birdlings, rest,
    In your wind-rocked nest,
    Unscared by the owl's shrill cry;
    For with folded wings
    Little Brier swings,
    And singeth your lullaby."

  61. I Love the Night

    by George Pope Morris

    I love your lips when they’re wet with wine
    And red with a wild desire;
    I love your eyes when the lovelight lies
    Lit with a passionate fire.
    I love your arms when the warm white flesh
    Touches mine in a fond embrace;
    I love your hair when the strands enmesh
    Your kisses against my face.

    Not for me the cold, calm kiss
    Of a virgin’s bloodless love;
    Not for me the saint’s white bliss,
    Nor the heart of a spotless dove.
    But give me the love that so freely gives
    And laughs at the whole world’s blame,
    With your body so young and warm in my arms,
    It sets my poor heart aflame.

    So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth,
    Still fragrant with ruby wine,
    And say with a fervor born of the South
    That your body and soul are mine.
    Clasp me close in your warm young arms,
    While the pale stars shine above,
    And we’ll live our whole young lives away
    In the joys of a living love.

  62. Prairie Waters by Night

    by Carl Sandburg.

    Chatter of birds two by two raises a night song joining a litany of running water—sheer waters showing the russet of old stones remembering many rains.

    And the long willows drowse on the shoulders of the running water, and sleep from much music; joined songs of day-end, feathery throats and stony waters, in a choir chanting new psalms.

    It is too much for the long willows when low laughter of a red moon comes down; and the willows drowse and sleep on the shoulders of the running water.

  63. An October Evening

    by Edith Franklin Wyatt

    Cicada notes repeating light, the field-winds full and mellow,
    And chording crickets keep tonight my still-roofed country town.
    Her sprinkled turf breathes sweet tonight. Her even lamps bloom yellow
    Along the leafy street tonight, broad-shadowed, fresh and brown.

    A step comes down the highway; a step goes down the by-way
    From Thursday night towards Friday, down my dark-roofed country town—
    Walks free towards far tomorrows, unguessed success and sorrows
    Along the gabled street tonight, all velvet-ridged and brown.

    Cicada chords and crickets keep still time. Burn, lamps, burn yellow.
    Breathe, prairie fragrance cool tonight, from wide-rolled swale and down.
    Blow, highland wind. Blow, lowland wind. Rise, marsh-wind, rich and mellow.
    I think my country's soul tonight walks through my country town.

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