Night

N
The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
St. John of the Cross
I.

In a dark night,
With anxious love inflamed,
O, happy lot!
Forth unobserved I went,
My house being now at rest.


II.

In darkness and in safety,
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"She had forgotten how the August night" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
She had forgotten how the August night
Was level as a lake beneath the moon,
In which she swam a little, losing sight
Of shore; and how the boy, who was at noon
Simple enough, not different from the rest,
Wore now a pleasant mystery as he went,
Which seemed to her an honest enough test
Whether she loved him, and she was content.
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Tell Me by Jean Toomer
Jean Toomer
Tell me, dear beauty of the dusk,
When purple ribbons bind the hill,
Do dreams your secret wish fulfill,
Do prayers, like kernels from the husk

Come from your lips? Tell me if when
The mountains loom at night, giant shades
Of softer shadow, swift like blades
Of grass seeds come to flower. Then
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All night I hear the noise of water sobbing by Alejandra Pizarnik
Alejandra Pizarnik
All night I hear the noise of water sobbing. All night I make night in me, I make the day that begins on my account, that sobs because day falls like water through night.
All night I hear the voice of someone seeking me out. All night you abandon me slowly like the water that sobs slowly falling. All night I write luminous messages, messages of rain, all night someone checks for me and I check for someone.
The noise of steps in the circle near this choleric light birthed from my insomnia. Steps of someone who no longer writhes, who no longer writes. All night someone holds back, then crosses the circle of bitter light.
All night I drown in your eyes become my eyes. All night I prod myself on toward that squatter in the circle of my silence. All night I see something lurch toward my looking, something humid, contrived of silence launching the sound of someone sobbing.
Absence blows grayly and night goes dense. Night, the shade of the eyelids of the dead, viscous night, exhaling some black oil that blows me forward and prompts me to search out an empty space without warmth, without cold. All night I flee from someone. I lead the chase, I lead the fugue. I sing a song of mourning. Black birds over black shrouds. My brain cries. Demented wind. I leave the tense and strained hand, I don’t want to know anything but this perpetual wailing, this clatter in the night, this delay, this infamy, this pursuit, this inexistence.
All night I see that abandonment is me, that the sole sobbing voice is me. We can search with lanterns, cross the shadow’s lie. We can feel the heart thud in the thigh and water subside in the archaic site of the heart.
All night I ask you why. All night you tell me no.
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Sex, Night by Alejandra Pizarnik
Alejandra Pizarnik
Once again, someone falls in their first falling–fall of two bodies, of two eyes, of four green eyes or eight green eyes if we count those born in the mirror (at midnight, in the purest fear, in the loss), you haven’t been able to recognize the voice of your dull silence, to see the earthly messages scrawled in the middle of one mad state, when the body is a glass and from ourselves and from the other we drink some kind of impossible water.
Desire needlessly spills on me a cursed liqueur. For my thirsty thirst, what can the promise of eyes do? I speak of something not in this world. I speak of someone whose purpose is elsewhere.
And I was naked in memory of the white night. Drunk and I made love all night, just like a sick dog.
Sometimes we suffer too much reality in the space of a single night. We get undressed, we’re horrified. We’re aware the mirror sounds like a watch, the mirror from which your cry will pour out, your laceration.
Night opens itself only once. It’s enough. You see. You’ve seen. Fear of being two in the mirror, and suddenly we’re four. We cry, we moan, my fear, my joy more horrible than my fear, my visceral words, my words are keys that lock me into a mirror, with you, but ever alone. And I am well aware what night is made of. We’ve fallen so completely into jaws that didn’t expect this sacrifice, this condemnation of my eyes which have seen. I speak of a discovery: felt the I in sex, sex in the I. I speak of burying everyday fear to secure the fear of an instant. The purest loss. But who’ll say: you don’t cry anymore at night? Because madness is also a lie. Like night. Like death.
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The Things That Cause a Quiet Life by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
(Written by Martial)
My friend, the things that do attain
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A Poem Called Day by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
Day is carved in marble, a man reclining,
a naked giant suffering.
Preoccupied Day faces Night, who is a woman,
huge, naked, Herculean, both pillowed
on their uncarved rough marble bed.
They need light to be seen, neither
has anything to do with the sun or moon.
Art is not astronomy,
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Night and the Madman by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
“I am like thee, O, Night, dark and naked; I walk on the flaming
path which is above my day-dreams, and whenever my foot touches
earth a giant oak tree comes forth.”

“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou still lookest
backward to see how large a foot-print thou leavest on the sand.”

“I am like thee, O, Night, silent and deep; and in the heart of
my loneliness lies a Goddess in child-bed; and in him who is being
born Heaven touches Hell.”

“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou shudderest yet
before pain, and the song of the abyss terrifies thee.”

“I am like thee, O, Night, wild and terrible; for my ears are crowded
with cries of conquered nations and sighs for forgotten lands.”

“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou still takest thy
little-self for a comrade, and with thy monster-self thou canst
not be friend.”

“I am like thee, O, Night, cruel and awful; for my bosom is lit
by burning ships at sea, and my lips are wet with blood of slain
warriors.”

“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman; for the desire for a
sister-spirit is yet upon thee, and thou has not become alone unto
thyself.”

“I am like thee, O, Night, joyous and glad; for he who dwells in
my shadow is now drunk with virgin wine, and she who follows me is
sinning mirthfully.”

“Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thy soul is wrapped in
the veil of seven folds and thou holdest not thy heart in thine
hand.”

“I am like thee, O, Night, patient and passionate; for in my breast
a thousand dead lovers are buried in shrouds of withered kisses.”

“Yea, Madman, art thou like me? Art thou like me? And canst thou
ride the tempest as a steed, and grasp the lightning as a sword?”

“Like thee, O, Night, like thee, mighty and high, and my throne is
built upon heaps of fallen Gods; and before me too pass the days
to kiss the hem of my garment but never to gaze at my face.”

“Art thou like me, child of my darkest heart? And dost thou think
my untamed thoughts and speak my vast language?”

“Yea, we are twin brothers, O, Night; for thou revealest space and
I reveal my soul.”
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Cookie by David L. Harrison
David L. Harrison
Tonight's your lucky night, boys.
Look what I fixed for you!
Stood all day in the burning sun
to make this son-of-a-gun stew.

Longhorn steaks two inches thick,
dig in while they're hot.
The coffee'll keep you up all night,
belly up to the pot.
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The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom
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Season of skinny candles by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
A row of tall skinny candles burns
quickly into the night
air, the shames raised
over the rest
for its hard work

Darkness rushes in
after the sun sinks
like a bright plug pulled.
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August 1914 by May Wedderburn Cannan
May Wedderburn Cannan
The sun rose over the sweep of the hill
All bare for the gathered hay,
And a blackbird sang by the window-sill,
And a girl knelt down to pray:
‘Whom Thou hast kept through the night, O Lord,
Keep Thou safe through the day.’

The sun rose over the shell-swept height,
The guns are over the way,
And a soldier turned from the toil of the night
To the toil of another day,
And a bullet sang by the parapet
To drive in the new-turned clay.

The sun sank slow by the sweep of the hill,
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Returning, We Hear the Larks by Isaac Rosenberg
Isaac Rosenberg
Sombre the night is:
And, though we have our lives, we know
What sinister threat lurks there.

Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know
This poison-blasted track opens on our camp—
On a little safe sleep.

But hark! Joy—joy—strange joy.
Lo! Heights of night ringing with unseen larks:
Music showering on our upturned listening faces.

Death could drop from the dark
As easily as song—
But song only dropped,
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Cock-Crow by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Out of the wood of thoughts that grows by night
To be cut down by the sharp axe of light,—
Out of the night, two cocks together crow,
Cleaving the darkness with a silver blow:
And bright before my eyes twin trumpeters stand,
Heralds of splendour, one at either hand,
Each facing each as in a coat of arms:
The milkers lace their boots up at the farms.
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Idea 37: Dear, why should you command me to my rest by Michael Drayton
Michael Drayton

Dear, why should you command me to my rest
When now the night doth summon all to sleep?
Methinks this time becometh lovers best;
Night was ordain'd together friends to keep.
How happy are all other living things
Which, though the day disjoin by sev'ral flight,
The quiet ev'ning yet together brings,
And each returns unto his love at night!
O thou that art so courteous else to all,
Why should'st thou, Night, abuse me only thus,
That ev'ry creature to his kind dost call,
And yet 'tis thou dost only sever us?
Well could I wish it would be ever day,
If when night comes you bid me go away.
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The Fountain by Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
My dear, your eyes are weary;
Rest them a little while.
Assume the languid posture
Of pleasure mixed with guile.
Outside the talkative fountain
Continues night and day
Repeating my warm passion
In whatever it has to say.

The sheer luminous gown
The fountain wears
Where Phoebe’s very own
Color appears
Falls like a summer rain
Or shawl of tears.
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Four Glimpses of Night by Frank Marshall Davis
Frank Marshall Davis
I
Eagerly
Like a woman hurrying to her lover
Night comes to the room of the world
And lies, yielding and content
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The Clouded Morning by Jones Very
Jones Very
The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;
So still is day, it seems like night profound;
Scarce by the city’s din the air is stirred,
And dull and deadened comes its every sound;
The cock’s shrill, piercing voice subdued is heard,
By the thick folds of muffling vapors drowned.
Dissolved in mists the hills and trees appear,
Their outlines lost and blended with the sky;
And well-known objects, that to all are near,
No longer seem familiar to the eye,
But with fantastic forms they mock the sight,
As when we grope amid the gloom of night.
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The Snow Fairy by Claude McKay
Claude McKay
I

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
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A Winter Song by Jean Ingelow
Jean Ingelow
Came the dread Archer up yonder lawn —
Night is the time for the old to die —
But woe for an arrow that smote the fawn,
When the hind that was sick unscathed went by.

Father lay moaning, Her fault was sore
(Night is the time when the old must die),
Yet, ah to bless her, my child, once more,
For heart is failing: the end is nigh.

Daughter, my daughter, my girl, I cried
(Night is the time for the old to die)
Woe for the wish if till morn ye bide —
Dark was the welkin and wild the sky.

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A Barred Owl by Richard Wilbur
Richard Wilbur
The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
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Childhood by Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker
When I was a child I knew red miners
dressed raggedly and wearing carbide lamps.
I saw them come down red hills to their camps
dyed with red dust from old Ishkooda mines.
Night after night I met them on the roads,
or on the streets in town I caught their glance;
the swing of dinner buckets in their hands,
and grumbling undermining all their words.
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Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
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
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Cage by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
Through the branches of the Japanese cherry
Blooming like a cloud which will rain
A rain white as the sun
The living room across the roadway
Cuts its square of light
And in it fight
Two figures, hot, irate,
Stuck between sink and sofa in that golden cage.
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The Fat Old Couple Whirling Around by Robert Bly
Robert Bly
The drum says that the night we die will be a long night.
It says the children have time to play. Tell the grownups
They can pull the curtains around the bed tonight.

The old man wants to know how the war ended.
The young girl wants her breasts to cause the sun to rise.
The thinker wants to keep misunderstanding alive.

It’s all right if the earthly monk is buried near the altar.
It’s all right if the singer fails to turn up for her concert.
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Nothing New by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Oh, what am I but an engine, shod
With muscle and flesh, by the hand of God,
Speeding on through the dense, dark night,
Guided alone by the soul’s white light.

Often and often my mad heart tires,
And hates its way with a bitter hate,
And longs to follow its own desires,
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from War is Kind “I explain the silvered passing of a ship at night” by Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane
I explain the silvered passing of a ship at night
The sweep of each sad lost wave
The dwindling boom of the steel thing's striving
The little cry of a man to a man
A shadow falling across the greyer night
And the sinking of the small star.

Then the waste, the far waste of waters
And the soft lashing of black waves
For long and in loneliness.

Remember, thou, oh ship of love
Thou leavest a far waste of waters
And the soft lashing of black waves
For long and in loneliness.
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Affairs by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
Dawn on the black hill, and up on the roof
cats drowsing. Last night, there was a boy
who fell off this roof, breaking his back.
The wind riffles the cool leaves of the trees.
The red clouds above are warm and move slowly.
A stray dog appears in the alley below, sniffing
the boy on the cobblestones, and a raw wail
rises up among chimneys: someone’s unhappy.
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40
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Blasting from Heaven by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
The little girl won’t eat her sandwich;
she lifts the bun and looks in, but the grey beef
coated with relish is always there.
Her mother says, “Do it for mother.”
Milk and relish and a hard bun that comes off
like a hat—a kid’s life is a cinch.

And a mother’s life? “What can you do
with a man like that?” she asks the sleeping cook
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Bridal Song by George Chapman
George Chapman
O come, soft rest of cares! come, Night!
Come, naked Virtue’s only tire,
The reapèd harvest of the light
Bound up in sheaves of sacred fire,
Love calls to war:
Sighs his alarms,
Lips his swords are,
The fields his arms.

Come, Night, and lay thy velvet hand
On glorious Day’s outfacing face;
And all thy crownèd flames command
For torches to our nuptial grace.
Love calls to war:
Sighs his alarms,
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The Dolls by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
Night after night forever the dolls lay stiff
by the children’s dreams. On the goose-feathers of the rich,
on the straw of the poor, on the gypsy ground—
wherever the children slept, dolls have been found
in the subsoil of the small loves stirred again
by the Finders After Everything. Down lay
the children by their hanks and twists. Night after night
grew over imagination. The fuzzies shed, the bright
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The Night by Henry Vaughan
Henry Vaughan
John 3.2
Through that pure virgin shrine,
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Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
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Songs from The Beggar’s Opera: Air XVI-“Over the Hills, and Far Away” by John Gay
John Gay
Act I, Scene xiii, Air XVI—“Over the Hills, and Far Away”
Mac. Were I laid on Greenland’s coast,
And in my arms embraced my lass,
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Thinking of Darwin by Herbert Morris
Herbert Morris
Were it not for that photograph,
disaster in its final stages,
matchbox houses coming down,
rubble of streets, uprooted trees,
lives we somehow could not envision,
removed from us and not our own,
on distant coasts the fall of night,

we might never have thought of Darwin,
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40
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What the Rattlesnake Said by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
The Moon's a little prairie-dog.
He shivers through the night.
He sits upon his hill and cries
For fear that I will bite.

The Sun's a broncho.He's afraid
Like every other thing,
And trembles morning, noon and night
Lest I should spring and sting.
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The Ballad of Rudolph Reed by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Rudolph Reed was oaken.
His wife was oaken too.
And his two good girls and his good little man
Oakened as they grew.

“I am not hungry for berries.
I am not hungry for bread.
But hungry hungry for a house
Where at night a man in bed
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The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
The end of the affair is always death.
She’s my workshop. Slippery eye,
out of the tribe of myself my breath
finds you gone. I horrify
those who stand by. I am fed.
At night, alone, I marry the bed.

Finger to finger, now she’s mine.
She’s not too far. She’s my encounter.
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Beyond Hammonton by Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn
Night is longing, longing, longing,
beyond all endurance.
—Henry Miller The back roads I’ve traveled late
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Burning by Galway Kinnell
Galway Kinnell
He lives, who last night flopped from a log
Into the creek, and all night by an ankle
Lay pinned to the flood, dead as a nail
But for the skin of the teeth of his dog.

I brought him boiled eggs and broth.
He coughed and waved his spoon
And sat up saying he would dine alone,
Being fatigue itself after that bath.
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The Cricket by Edwin Markham
Edwin Markham
The twilight is the morning of his day.
While Sleep drops seaward from the fading shore,
With purpling sail and dip of silver oar,
He cheers the shadowed time with roundelay,
Until the dark east softens into gray.
Now as the noisy hours are coming—hark!
His song dies gently—it is growing dark—
His night, with its one star, is on the way!
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40
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The Dong with a Luminous Nose by Edward Lear
Edward Lear
When awful darkness and silence reign
Over the great Gromboolian plain,
Through the long, long wintry nights; —
When the angry breakers roar
As they beat on the rocky shore; —
When Storm-clouds brood on the towering heights
Of the Hills of the Chankly Bore: —

Then, through the vast and gloomy dark,
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A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed—
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.

Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
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Encounter by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
At two thousand feet the sea wrinkles like an old man’s hand.
Closer, in a monotone of peristalsis,
Its fugue-like swells create and recreate
One image in an idiot concentration.

From horizon to horizon, this desert
With the eye athirst for something stable
When off to southeast-ward—
It was a plane all right, or had been,
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32
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Goodnight by David Ferry
David Ferry
Lying in bed and waiting to find out
Whatever is going to happen: the window shade

Making its slightest sound as the night wind,
Outside, in the night, breathes quietly on it;

It is parental hovering over the infantile;
Something like that; it is like being a baby,

And over the sleep of the baby there is a father,
Or mother, breathing, hovering; the streetlight light
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Harlem Shadows by Claude McKay
Claude McKay
I hear the halting footsteps of a lass
In Negro Harlem when the night lets fall
Its veil. I see the shapes of girls who pass
To bend and barter at desire's call.
Ah, little dark girls who in slippered feet
Go prowling through the night from street to street!

Through the long night until the silver break
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Hymn to the Night by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Aspasie, trillistos. 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!
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In a Garden by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
Gushing from the mouths of stone men
To spread at ease under the sky
In granite-lipped basins,
Where iris dabble their feet
And rustle to a passing wind,
The water fills the garden with its rushing,
In the midst of the quiet of close-clipped lawns.

Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,
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35
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It was a' for our Rightful King by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
It was a' for our rightful king
That we left fair Scotland's strand;
It was a' for our rightful king
We e'er saw Irish land,
My dear,
We e'er saw Irish land.

Now a' is done that men can do,
And a' is done in vain!
My love, and native land, fareweel!
For I maun cross the main,
My dear,
For I maun cross the main.

He turn'd him right and round about,
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The Journey by Yvor Winters
Yvor Winters
Snake River Country I now remembered slowly how I came,
I, sometime living, sometime with a name,
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Just Think! by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
Just think! some night the stars will gleam
Upon a cold, grey stone,
And trace a name with silver beam,
And lo! ’twill be your own.

That night is speeding on to greet
Your epitaphic rhyme.
Your life is but a little beat
Within the heart of Time.
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Late, Late, so Late by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill!
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.

No light had we: for that we do repent;
And learning this, the bridegroom will relent.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.

No light: so late! and dark and chill the night!
O, let us in, that we may find the light!
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Lines: The cold earth slept below by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,
With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black;
The green grass was not seen;
The birds did rest
On the bare thorn’s breast,
Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o’er many a crack
Which the frost had made between.
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45
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Mad Song by William Blake
William Blake
The wild winds weep,
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
And my griefs infold:
But lo! the morning peeps
Over the eastern steeps,
And the rustling birds of dawn
The earth do scorn.

Lo! to the vault
Of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
Make weep the eyes of day;
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45
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Mariana in the South by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
With one black shadow at its feet,
The house thro' all the level shines,
Close-latticed to the brooding heat,
And silent in its dusty vines:
A faint-blue ridge upon the right,
An empty river-bed before,
And shallows on a distant shore,
In glaring sand and inlets bright.
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Morning After by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
I was so sick last night I
Didn’t hardly know my mind.
So sick last night I
Didn’t know my mind.
I drunk some bad licker that
Almost made me blind.

Had a dream last night I
Thought I was in hell.
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The Mower to the Glow-Worms by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
The nightingale does sit so late,
And studying all the summer night,
Her matchless songs does meditate;

Ye country comets, that portend
No war nor prince’s funeral,
Shining unto no higher end
Than to presage the grass’s fall;

Ye glow-worms, whose officious flame
To wand’ring mowers shows the way,
That in the night have lost their aim,
And after foolish fires do stray;

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Music Swims Back to Me by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
Wait Mister. Which way is home?
They turned the light out
and the dark is moving in the corner.
There are no sign posts in this room,
four ladies, over eighty,
in diapers every one of them.
La la la, Oh music swims back to me
and I can feel the tune they played
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Mutability "The flower that smiles to-day" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright.

Virtue, how frail it is!
Friendship how rare!
Love, how it sells poor bliss
For proud despair!
But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy, and all
Which ours we call.
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A Poison Tree by William Blake
William Blake
I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

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Sestina by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
I saw my soul at rest upon a day
As a bird sleeping in the nest of night,
Among soft leaves that give the starlight way
To touch its wings but not its eyes with light;
So that it knew as one in visions may,
And knew not as men waking, of delight.

This was the measure of my soul's delight;
It had no power of joy to fly by day,
Nor part in the large lordship of the light;
But in a secret moon-beholden way
Had all its will of dreams and pleasant night,
And all the love and life that sleepers may.

But such life's triumph as men waking may
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A Shropshire Lad 30: Others, I am not the first by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
Others, I am not the first,
Have willed more mischief than they durst:
If in the breathless night I too
Shiver now, 'tis nothing new.

More than I, if truth were told,
Have stood and sweated hot and cold,
And through their reins in ice and fire
Fear contended with desire.

Agued once like me were they,
But I like them shall win my way
Lastly to the bed of mould
Where there's neither heat nor cold.

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So We'll Go No More a Roving by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
So, we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.
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The Starry Night by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
That does not keep me from having a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
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To -- -- --. Ulalume: A Ballad by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crispéd and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul—
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll—
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Up-Hill by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

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Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return’d with a look I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach’d up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev’d to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade—not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
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Warm Summer Sun by Mark Twain
Mark Twain

Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.
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When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
1
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

2
O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.
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Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson
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,
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