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Poem by Sidney Lanier


Night


Fair is the wedded reign of Night and Day.
Each rules a half of earth with different sway,
Exchanging kingdoms, East and West, alway.

Like the round pearl that Egypt drunk in wine,
The sun half sinks i the brimming, rosy brine:
The wild Night drinks all up: how her eyes shine!

Now the swift sail of straining life is furled,
And through the stillness of my soul is whirled
The throbbing of the hearts of half the world.

I hear the cries that follow Birth and Death.
I hear huge Pestilence draw his vaporous breath:
Beware, prepare, or else ye die, he saith.

I hear a haggard student turn and sigh:
I hear men begging Heaven to let them die:
And, drowning all, a wild-eyed womans cry.

So Night takes toll of Wisdom as of Sin.
The students and the drunkards cheek is thin:
But flesh is not the prize we strive to win.

Now airy swarms of fluttering dreams descend
On souls, like birds on trees, and have no end.
O God, from vulture-dreams my soul defend!

Let fall on Her a rose-leaf rain of dreams,
All passionate-sweet, as are the loving beams
Of starlight on the glimmering woods and streams.



Sidney Lanier


Sidney Lanier's other poems:
  1. The Dove
  2. A Florida Ghost
  3. The Raven Days
  4. A Sunrise Song
  5. Martha Washington


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Anne Brontë Night ("I love the silent hour of night")
  • William Morris Night ("I am Night: I bring again")
  • Thomas Aird Night ("From sleepless work, and a ne'er-setting sun")
  • George Russell Night ("HEART-HIDDEN from the outer things I rose")
  • William Browne Night ("Now great Hyperion left his golden throne")
  • Henry Longfellow Night ("Into the darkness and the hush of night")
  • Charles Heavysege Night ("'Tis solemn darkness; the sublime of shade")
  • James Thomson Night ("HE cried out through the night")
  • Jones Very Night ("I thank thee, Father, that the night is near")
  • Ella Wilcox Night ("As some dusk mother shields from all alarms")
  • Lucy Montgomery Night ("A pale enchanted moon is sinking low")

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