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The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/Night

NightEdit

Earth! thou art lovely, when the sinking sun
Hath bathed the clouds in his departing flush,
And, with the moon-lit evening, hath begun
The voiceless, and yet spirit-calming hush,
That thrills around the heart, till tear-drops rush,
Unbidden and uncall'd for, to the eye;
When, save the music of the fountain's gush,
Or the far wailing of the night-bird's cry,
Unbroken silence hangs o'er earth, and wave, and sky.

But now the majesty of midnight storm
Is gathering, in its grandeur, o'er the sky;
The deep black clouds in mustering squadrons form,
And the low, fitful blast, that passes by,
Hath a strange fearful thrilling—like the sigh
Of a sick slumberer; even that hath died,
And in their quiet sleep the waters lie,
As though the winds ne'er curl'd them in its pride,
Or shook the still bent leaves that hang above the tide.

How steadily that ebon mass moves on!
Stretching across the sky in one dark line,
Like a huge wall of blackness; there do none
Of the thin silvery vapours hang supine,
Or those bright clouds that sometimes seem to twine
A coronal to grace the brow of night;
Stars in Orion's studded baldric shine,
In all their wonted brightness; and the light
Of an unclouded moon half dims the dazzled sight.

The tempest hurries onward—how the flash
Of the red lightning leaps from cloud to cloud!
The gathering thunder bursts in one wild crash,
And sinks a moment—then, returning loud,
Seems bounding o'er the sky, as if 't were proud
Of its own potency. We need not now,
A sharer in the thoughts that round us crowd;
The soul is its own world, and the deep glow
Of the rapt spirit seeks no fellowship below.

The wildness of the storm hath pass'd; the rain
Drips from the wet leaves only, and the sky,
With its deep azure beauty, gleams again
Through the rent clouds; the sunken wind swells by,
With a low sobbing; and the clouds, heap'd high,
With the rich moonbeams’ streaming flood of light
Pour'd full upon them, swell before the eye
Like distant snow-clad mountains. Night! O night!
Thou art most glorious! most beautifully bright!