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.