When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise, in such a night
Troilus methinks mounted the Troy an walls,
And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressida lay that night.
Faint from the bell the ghastly echoes fall,
That grates within the grey cathedral tower;
Let me not enter through the portal tall,
Lest the strange spirit of the moonless hour
Should give life to those pale people, who
Lie in their fretted niches, two and two,
Each with his head on pillowy stone reposed,
And his hands lifted, and his eyelids closed.
From many a moldering oriel, as to flout,
Its pale, grave brow of ivy-tressed stone,
Comes the incongruous laugh, and revel shout-
Above, some solitary casement, thrown
Wide-open to the wavering night wind,
Admits its chill, so deathful, yet so kind,
Unto the fevered brow and fiery eye
Of one, whose night hour passeth sleeplessly.
Ye melancholy chambers! I could shun
The darkness of your silence, with such fear,
As places where slow murder has been done,
How many noble spirits have died here
Withering away in yearnings to aspire
Gnawed by mocked hope-devoured by their own fire!
Methinks the grave must feel a colder bed
To spirits such as these, then unto common dead.
The white mares of the moon rush along the sky
Beating their golden hoofs upon the glass Heavens
The white mares are all standing on their hind legs
Pawing at the green porcelain doors of the remote Heavens
Strain your utmost
Scatter the milky dust of stars
Or the tigers will leap upon you and destroy you
With one lick of his vermillion tongue
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies,
When love is done.
SWIFTLY walk o’er the western wave,
Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,–
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee terrible and dear,–
Swift be thy flight!
Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out.
Then wander o’er city and sea and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand–
When I arose and saw the dawn,
I sigh’d for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turn’d to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sigh’d for thee.
Thy brother Death came, and cried,
‘Wouldst thou me?’
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmur’d like a noontide bee,
‘Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?’–And I replied,
‘No, not thee!’
Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon–
Sleep will come when thou art fled.
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night–
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!
Look beyond, those stars.
You will see,
The universe, performing, its job
Of creation and destruction.
With eternal silence and celebration.