I Was In The Darkness;

I was in the darkness;
I could not see my words
Nor the wishes of my heart.
Then suddenly there was a great light --

"Let me into the darkness again."

by Stephen Crane.

Into Crimson Dark

Into crimson dark thou goest,
Thy vast orbits mock the eye.
Small the echo that thou throwest,
Far, I hear thy footfalls die.

Art thou near? too far for greeting?
Lost in topless altitudes?
Shall I wait a sudden meeting
Where sonorous stillness broods?

In the solitude resounding
Distant footsteps echo free.
Is it thou who flamest, bounding
Circles of infinity?

by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok.

I can't sleep, and there's no light,
Mirk all round and restless slumber,
Tickings near me without number,
Monotonous clock measuring night!

O you Fates with old wives' chatter,
Sleepy night so softly swaying,
Life with mouselike pitter-patter,
Why vex me, what are you saying?

Boring whispers what implying?
Do you murmur or complain?
Can't you tell me what you're seeking,
Calling me or Prophesying?
Oh for someone to explain
That dark language you are speaking!

by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

The days drag on, each moment multiplies
Within my wounded heart the pain and sadness
Of an unhappy love and, dark, gives rise.
To sleepless dreams, the haunting dreams of madness
But I do not complain - instead, I weep;
Tears bring me solace, comforted they leave me.
My spirit, captive held by grief, a deep.
And bitter rapture finds in them, believe me.
Pass, life! Come, empty phantom, onward fly.
And in the silent void of darkness vanish.
Dear it to me my love's unending anguish;
If as I die I love, pray let me die.

by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

Lines From Endymion

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loviliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondance, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o`er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, inspite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

by John Keats.

The Faithless Shadows.

The faithless shadows of day are running
And high and clear is the call of bells,
Steps of the church are blazed as with the lightning,
Their stones are alive and wait for your light steps.

You'll here pass and touch the chilly stone,
That's dressed in awful sanity of span,
And let the flower of spring be thrown
Here, in this dark, before the eyes of saint.

The rose shadows in misty darkness grow,
And high and clear is the call of bells,
The darkness lays on steps, such old and low --
I'm set in light -- I wait for dear steps.

by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok.

"Me Thinks This Heart..."

Me thinks this heart should rest awhile
So stilly round the evening falls
The veiled sun sheds no parting smile
Nor mirth nor music wakes my Halls

I have sat lonely all the day
Watching the drizzly mist descend
And first conceal the hills in grey
And then along the valleys wend

And I have sat and watched the trees
And the sad flowers how drear they blow
Those flowers were formed to feel the breeze
Wave their light leaves in summer's glow

Yet their lives passed in gloomy woe
And hopeless comes its dark decline
And I lament because I know
That cold departure pictures mine

by Emily Jane Brontë.

My Soul Is Dark

My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once - or yield to song.

by George Gordon Byron.

All day the clouds hung ashen with the cold;
And through the snow the muffled waters fell;
The day seemed drowned in grief too deep to tell,
Like some old hermit whose last bead is told.
At eve the wind woke, and the snow clouds rolled
Aside to leave the fierce sky visible;
Harsh as an iron landscape of wan hell
The dark hills hung framed in with gloomy gold.
And then, towards night, the wind seemed some one at
My window wailing: now a little child
Crying outside my door; and now the long
Howl of some starved beast down the flue. I sat
And knew 'twas Winter with his madman song
Of miseries on which he stared and smiled.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Voice Of Ocean

A cry went through the darkness; and the moon,
Hurrying through storm, gazed with a ghastly face,
Then cloaked herself in scud: the merman race
Of surges ceased; and then th' Aeolian croon
Of the wild siren, Wind, within the shrouds
Sunk to a sigh. The ocean in that place
Seemed listening; haunted, for a moment's space,
By something dread that cried against the clouds.
Mystery and night; and with them fog and rain:
And then that cry again as if the deep
Uttered its loneliness in one dark word:
Her horror of herself; her Titan pain;
Her monsters; and the dead that she must keep,
Has kept, alone, for centuries, unheard.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Sonnet: After Dark Vapors Have Oppress'D Our Plains

After dark vapors have oppress'd our plains
For a long dreary season, comes a day
Born of the gentle South, and clears away
From the sick heavens all unseemly stains.
The anxious month, relieved of its pains,
Takes as a long-lost right the feel of May;
The eyelids with the passing coolness play
Like rose leaves with the drip of Summer rains.
The calmest thoughts came round us; as of leaves
Budding -- fruit ripening in stillness -- Autumn suns
Smiling at eve upon the quiet sheaves --
Sweet Sappho's cheek -- a smiling infant's breath --
The gradual sand that through an hour-glass runs --
A woodland rivulet -- a Poet's death.

by John Keats.

Not Unto Endless Dark

Not unto endless dark do we go down,
Though all the wisdom of wide earth said yea,
Yet my fond heart would throb eternal nay.
Night, prophet of morning, wears her starry crown,
And jewels with hope her murkiest shades that frown.
Death's doubt is kernelled in each prayer we pray.
Eternity but night in some vast day
Of God's far-off red flame of love's renown.
Not unto endless dark. We may not know
The distant deeps to which our hopings go,
The tidal shores where ebbs our fleeting breath:
But over ill and dread and doubt's fell dart,
Sweet hope, eternal, holds the human heart,
And love laughs down the desolate dusks of death.

by William Wilfred Campbell.

Sonnet Xlii: Composed During A Walk

The dark and pillowy cloud, the sallow trees,
Seem o'er the ruins of the year to mourn;
And, cold and hollow, the inconstant breeze
Sobs thro' the falling leaves and wither'd fern.
O'er the tall brow of yonder chalky bourn,
The evening shades their gather'd darkness fling,
While, by the lingering light, I scarce discern
The shrieking night-jar sail on heavy wing.
Ah! yet a little—and propitious Spring
Crown'd with fresh flowers shall wake the woodland strain;
But no gay change revolving seasons bring
To call forth pleasure from the soul of pain;
Bid Syren Hope resume her long-lost part,
And chase the vulture Care—that feeds upon the heart.

by Charlotte Smith.

Comes the night that brings me rest,
Comes the dark that folds me in
This of all my nights the best,
Nights of virtue, nights of sin.
I can hear a water moan,
And it seems no mortal tide,
But my own grey life that's gone
With the darkness to abide.
Ah! beyond the veil I pierce —
See my pain and pleasure done
In a mouldering universe
Without stars and without sun!
Through my warm red veins the chill
Of Death's coming seems to creep,
Till the world grows ghasty still
To me in my lonely sleep
So I cease: this night is mine;
Other nights for other things!
Comes the gloom that is divine
With the peace for me it brings.

by Robert Crawford.

A Child Of The Snows

There is heard a hymn when the panes are dim,
And never before or again,
When the nights are strong with a darkness long,
And the dark is alive with rain.

Never we know but in sleet and in snow,
The place where the great fires are,
That the midst of the earth is a raging mirth
And the heart of the earth a star.

And at night we win to the ancient inn
Where the child in the frost is furled,
We follow the feet where all souls meet
At the inn at the end of the world.

The gods lie dead where the leaves lie red,
For the flame of the sun is flown,
The gods lie cold where the leaves lie gold,
And a Child comes forth alone.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Once more. Look: a spent old scarecrow
shrivelled face
straw-dry shadow
swaying like a leaf
bending and swaying over books.

Once more. Look: a spent old crone
weaving and weaving
knitted stockings
mouth full of curses
lips forever mumbling curses.

There’s the household cat
has not moved since I left,
still dreaming by the stove
playing cat and mouse
in his dream.

And as ever, in darkness
the spider weaves
hanging its web
full of swollen fly corpses
in the dark west corner.

You’ve not changed:
All old as the hills.
Nothing new.
I’ll join you, old cronies!
Together we’ll rot till we stink.

by Hayyim Nahman Bialik.

Written at Weymouth in winter.
THE chill waves whiten in the sharp North-east;
Cold, cold the night-blast comes, with sullen sound,
And black and gloomy, like my cheerless breast:
Frowns the dark pier and lonely sea-view round.
Yet a few months--and on the peopled strand
Pleasure shall all her varied forms display;
Nymphs lightly tread the bright reflecting sand,
And proud sails whiten all the summer bay:
Then, from these winds that whistle keen and bleak,
Music's delightful melodies shall float
O'er the blue waters; but 'tis mine to seek
Rather, some unfrequented shade, remote
From sights and sounds of gaiety--I mourn
All that gave me delight--Ah! never to return

by Charlotte Smith.

Written Near A Port On A Dark Evening

o



Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
Night on the ocean settles dark and mute,
Save where is heard the repercussive roar
Of drowsy billows on the rugged foot
Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
Of seamen in the anchored bark that tell
The watch relieved; or one deep voice alone
Singing the hour, and bidding "Strike the bell!"

All is black shadow but the lucid line
Marked by the light surf on the level sand,
Or where afar the ship-lights faintly shine
Like wandering fairy fires, that oft on land
Misled the pilgrim--such the dubious ray
That wavering reason lends in life's long darkling way.



o

by Charlotte Smith.

Far away, where darkness reigneth,
All my dreams of bliss are flown;
Yet with love my gaze remaineth
Fixed on one fair star alone.
But, alas! that star so bright
Sheds no lustre save by night.

If in slumbers ending never,
Gloomy death had sealed thine eyes,
Thou hadst lived in memory ever--
Thou hadst lived still in my sighs;
But, alas! in light thou livest--
To my love no answer givest!

Can the sweet hopes love once cherished
Emma, can they transient prove?
What has passed away and perished--
Emma, say, can that be love?
That bright flame of heavenly birth--
Can it die like things of earth?

by Friedrich Schiller.

A Prayer In Darkness

This much, O heaven—if I should brood or rave,
Pity me not; but let the world be fed,
Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,
Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.

If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,
Whimper and clamour, give me grace to own,
In sun and rain and fruit in season shown,
The shining silence of the scorn of God.

Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,
If I must travail in a night of wrath,
Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,
Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.

Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had
Thought it beat brightly, even on—Calvary:
And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree
Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

SEE through yon cloud that rolls in wrath,
One little star benignant peep,
To light along their trackless path
The wanderers of the stormy deep.

And thus, oh Hope! thy lovely form
In sorrow's gloomy night shall be
The sun that looks through cloud and storm
Upon a dark and moonless sea.

When heaven is all serene and fair,
Full many a brighter gem we meet;
'Tis when the tempest hovers there,
Thy beam is most divinely sweet.

The rainbow, when the sun declines,
Like faithless friend will disappear;
Thy light, dear star! more brightly shines
When all is wail and weeping here.

And though Aurora's stealing beam
May wake a morning of delight,
'Tis only thy consoling beam
Will smile amid affliction's night.

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

Song. Low Hung The Dark Clouds

LOW hung the dark clouds on Plinlimmon's tall peak,
And slowly, yet surely, the winter drew near;
When Ellen, sweet Ellen, a tear on her cheek,
Exclaimed as we parted, 'In May I'll be here.'

How swiftly I ran up the mountain's steep height,
To catch the last glimpse of an object so dear!
And, when I no longer could keep her in sight,
I thought on her promise,....'In May I'll be here.'

Now gladly I mark from Plinlimmon's tall peak
The low-hanging vapours and clouds disappear,
And climb the rough mountain, thence Ellen to seek,
Repeating her promise....'In May I'll be here.'

But vainly I gaze the wide prospect around,
'T is May, yet no Ellen returning is near:
Oh, when shall I see her! when feel my heart bound,
As sweetly she cries, 'It is May, and I'm here!'

by Amelia Opie.

In The City Of Slaughter (Excerpt)

Proceed thence to the ruins, the split walls reach,
Where wider grows the hollow, and greater grows the breach;
Pass over the shattered hearth, attain the broken wall
Whose burnt and barren brick, whose charred stones reveal
The open mouths of such wounds, that no mending
Shall ever mend, nor healing ever heal…

Terror floating near the rafters, terror
Against the walls in darkness hiding,
Terror through the silence sliding.
Didst thou not hear beneath the heap of wheels
A stirring of crushed limbs?

Much suffering and tribulation–tried
Which in this house of bondage binds itself.
It will not ever from its pain be pried.
Brief-weary and forespent, a dark Shekhinah
Runs to each nook and cannot find its rest;
Wishes to weep, but weeping does not come;
Would roar; is dumb….

by Hayyim Nahman Bialik.

The Old Acacia Tree

Neither daylight nor the darkness
See how silently I wander.
Not on mountain, nor in valley,
Does an old acacia ponder.

The acacia solves all mysteries,
Tells my fortune while I tarry.
I shall ask the tree to tell me
Whom O whom, am I to marry?

Where will he be from, O Acacia,
Is it Poland, Lithuania?
Will he come with a horse and a carriage
Or with staff and sack will he appear?

And what presents will be bring me -
Necklace of pearls and coral flower?
Tell me, will he be fair or dark-haired?
Still unmarried or a widower?

If he's old, my dear Acacia,
I won't have him, please don't try me.
I'll tell my father; you may slay me,
But to an old man do not tie me!

At his feet I'll fall and with tears I'll cry;
To an old man do not tie me.

by Hayyim Nahman Bialik.

The Australian Sunrise

The Morning Star paled slowly, the Cross hung low to the sea,
And down the shadowy reaches the tide came swirling free,
The lustrous purple blackness of the soft Australian night,
Waned in the gray awakening that heralded the light;
Still in the dying darkness, still in the forest dim
The pearly dew of the dawning clung to each giant limb,
Till the sun came up from ocean, red with the cold sea mist,
And smote on the limestone ridges, and the shining tree-tops kissed;
Then the fiery Scorpion vanished, the magpie's note was heard,
And the wind in the she-oak wavered, and the honeysuckles stirred,
The airy golden vapour rose from the river breast,
The kingfisher came darting out of his crannied nest,
And the bulrushes and reed-beds put off their sallow gray
And burnt with cloudy crimson at dawning of the day.

by James Lister Cuthbertson.

THE sun in mists his glory shrouds,
The fields delight no more;
November's brow is dark with clouds,
The year's gay youth is o'er.
Lost is the verdure of the meads,
No tuneful warblings flow;
A long and dreary night succeeds
To noon's pale, transient glow.
Yet why lament the gloomy day,
Or Nature's long repose?
Again shall Spring's awakening ray
More beauteous tints disclose.
The vernal morn again shall gleam,
The drooping world to cheer;
The sun, with vivifying beam,
Renew th' empurpled year.
But if revolving Spring no more
Should bless our mortal eyes,
The soul that fears her God shall soar
Where suns more glorious rise.
Where night no more the veil of death
O'er day's bright scenes shall fling,
Nor Winter's rude, unwelcome breath,
E'er blast the charms of Spring.

by Elizabeth Bentley.

How Oft Has The Benshee Cried

How oft has the Benshee cried,
How oft has death untied
Bright links that Glory wove,
Sweet bonds entwined by Love.
Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth;
Long may the fair and brave,
Sigh o'er the hero's grave.

We're fallen upon gloomy days!
Star after star decays.
Every bright name, that shed
Light o'er the land, is fled.
Dark falls the tear of him who mourneth
Lost joy, or hope that ne'er returneth:
But brightly flows the tear,
Wept o'er a hero's bier.

Quench'd are our beacon lights --
Thou, of the Hundred Fights!
Thou, on whose burning tongue
Truth, peace, and freedom hung!
Both mute, -- but long as valour shineth,
Or mercy's soul at war repineth,
So long shall Erin's pride
Tell how they lived and died.

by Thomas Moore.

THERE is a glory in the apple boughs
Of silver moonlight; like a torch of myrrh,
Burning upon an altar of sweet vows,
Dropped from the hand of some wan worshipper:
And there is life among the apple blooms
Of whisp’ring winds; as if a god addressed
The flamen from the sanctuary glooms
With secrets of the bourne that hope hath guessed,
Saying: ‘Behold! a darkness which illumes,
A waking which is rest.’

There is a blackness in the apple trees
Of tempest; like the ashes of an urn
Hurt hands have gathered upon blistered knees,
With salt of tears, out of the flames that burn:
And there is death among the blooms, that fill
The night with breathless scent,—as when, above
The priest, the vision of his faith doth will
Forth from his soul the beautiful form thereof,—
Saying: ‘Behold! a silence never still;
The other form of love.’

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Child And Father

A LITTLE child, one night, awoke and cried,
'Oh, help me, father! there is something wild
Before me! help me!' Hurrying to his side
I answered, 'I am here. You dreamed, my child.'
'A dream? —' he questioned. 'Oh, I could not see!
It was so dark! — Take me into your bed!'—
And I, who loved him, held him soothingly,
And smiling on his terror, comforted.
He nestled in my arms. I held him fast;
And spoke to him and calmed his childish fears,
Until he smiled again, asleep at last,
Upon his lashes still a trace of tears….
How like a child the world! who, in this night
Of strife, beholds strange monsters threatening;
And with black fear, having so little light,
Cries to its Father, God, for comforting.
And well for it, if, answering the call,
The Father hear and soothe its dread asleep! —
How many though, whom thoughts and dreams appall,
Must lie awake and in the darkness weep.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Mark vi. 47-51.

Fear was within the tossing bark,
When stormy winds grew loud;
And waves came rolling high and dark,
And the tall mast was bowed.

And men stood breathless in their dread,
And baffled in their skill;
But One was there, who rose and said
To the wild sea, 'Be still!'

And the wind ceased - it ceased - that word
Pass'd through the gloomy sky;
The troubled billows knew their Lord,
And sank beneath His eye.

And silence settled on the deep,
And silence on the blast,
As when the righteous falls asleep,
When death's fierce throes are past.

Thou that didst rule the angry hour,
And tame the tempest's mood,
Oh! send Thy Spirit forth in power,
O'er our dark souls to brood!

Thou that didst bow the billows' pride,
Thy mandates to fulfil -
So speak to passion's raging tide,
Speak, and say, 'Peace, be still!'

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

Psalm 89 Part 2

v.7ff
C. M.
The power and majesty of God; or, Reverential worship.

With rev'rence let the saints appear,
And bow before the Lord;
His high commands with rev'rence hear,
And tremble at his word.

How terrible thy glories be!
How bright thine armies shine!
Where is the power that vies with thee,
Or truth compared to thine?

The northern pole and southern rest
On thy supporting hand;
Darkness and day, from east to west,
Move round at thy command.

Thy words the raging winds control,
And rule the boist'rous deep;
Thou mak'st the sleeping billows roll,
The rolling billows sleep.

Heav'n, earth, and air, and sea, are thine,
And the dark world of hell;
How did thine arm in vengeance shine
When Egypt durst rebel!

Justice and judgment are thy throne,
Yet wondrous is thy grace;
While truth and mercy, joined in one,
Invite us near thy face.

by Isaac Watts.

Thin, chisel-fine a cricket chipped
The crystal silence into sound;
And where the branches dreamed and dripped
A grasshopper its dagger stripped
And on the humming darkness ground.

A bat, against the gibbous moon,
Danced, implike, with its lone delight;
The glowworm scrawled a golden rune
Upon the dark; and, emerald-strewn,
The firefly hung with lamps the night.

The flowers said their beads in prayer,
Dew-syllables of sighed perfume;
Or talked of two, soft-standing there,
One like a gladiole, straight and fair,
And one like some rich poppy-bloom.

The mignonette and feverfew
Laid their pale brows together:-'See!'
One whispered: 'Did their step thrill through
Your roots?'-'Like rain.'-'I touched the two
And a new bud was born in me.'

One rose said to another:-'Whose
Is this dim music? song, that parts
My crimson petals like the dews?'
'My blossom trembles with sweet news-
It is the love of two young hearts.'

by Madison Julius Cawein.

THE black night showed its hungry teeth,
And gnawed with sleet at roof and pane;
Beneath the door I heard it breathe —
A beast that growled in vain.
The hunter wind stalked up and down,
And crashed his ice-spears through each tree;
Before his rage, in tattered gown,
I saw the maid moon flee.
There stole a footstep to my door;
A voice cried in my room and — there!
A shadow cowled and gaunt and hoar,
Death, leaned above my chair.
He beckoned me; he bade me rise,
And follow through the madman night;
Into my heart's core pierced his eyes,
And lifted me with might.
I rose; I made no more delay;
And followed where his eyes compelled;
And through the darkness, far away,
They lit me and enspelled.
Until we reached an ancient wood,
That flung its twisted arms around,
As if in anguish that it stood
On dark, unhallowed ground.
And then I saw it — cold and blind —
The dream, that had my heart to share,
That fell, before its feet could find
Its home, and perished there.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

A Thing Of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

by John Keats.

On The Death Of David Doig, Ll. D. Master Of The Grammar School, Stirling

He's gane! - he's gane! - ah! welladay!
The spirit's flown that warm'd the clay!
The light has fled that cheer'd the way
Through lear's mirk page;
Fir'd the young breast wi' fancy's ray,
And charm'd the sage!

The sun has set that beam'd sae bright!
Nae radiance shines on Strevlin's height!
Nae star glints now wi' saften'd light
On fancy's bower!
But dark and silent is the night
In Doig's tower!

In Doig's tower, whar aft and lang
The mingling notes o' learning rang;
And aft her fav'rite minstrel sang;
In varied key;
Wi' Horace saft! wi' Homer strang,
Wi' Pindar hie!

In Doig's tower, whar late and air
Ilk bud o' genius blossom'd fair;
Nurs'd by the fostering hand o' care,
They sprang to view;
Burst into sweets, and far and near
The fragrance flew!

He's gane! - he's gane! - Strevlinea, mourn!
Ah! drap the sant tear on his urn!
The light again will ne'er return
That cheer'd ye a';
The fire that bleiz'd nae mair will burn
In yonder ha'!

by Hector Macneill.

The storm wind covers the sky
Whirling the fleecy snow drifts,
Now it howls like a wolf,
Now it is crying, like a lost child,
Now rustling the decayed thatch
On our tumbledown roof,
Now, like a delayed traveller,
Knocking on our window pane.
Our wretched little cottage
Is gloomy and dark.
Why do you sit all silent
Hugging the window, old gran?
Has the howling of the storm
Wearied you, at last, dear friend?
Or are you dozing fitfully
Under the spinning wheel's humming?
Let us drink, dearest friend
To my poor wasted youth.
Let us drink from grief - Where's the glass?
Our hearts at least will be lightened.
Sing me a song of how the bluetit
Quietly lives across the sea.
Sing me a song of how the young girl
Went to fetch water in the morning.
The storm wind covers the sky
Whirling the fleecy snow drifts
Now it howls like a wolf,
Now it is crying, like a lost child.
Let us drink, dearest friend
To my poor wasted youth.
Let us drink from grief - Where's the glass?
Our hearts at least will be lightened.

by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

Meditation On A Cold, Dark, And Rainy Night

Sweet on the house top falls the gentle shower,
When jet black darkness crowns the silent hour,
When shrill the owlet pours her hollow tone,
Like some lost child sequester'd and alone,
When Will's bewildering wisp begins to flare,
And Philomela breathes her dulcet air,
'Tis sweet to listen to her nightly tune,
Deprived of star-light or the smiling moon.
When deadly winds sweep round the rural shed,
And tell of strangers lost, without a bed,
Fond sympathy invokes her dol'rous lay,
And pleasure steals in sorrow's gloom away,
Till fost'ring Somnus bids my eyes to close,
And smiling visions open to repose;
Still on my soothing couch I lie at ease,
Still round my chamber flows the whistling breeze,
Still in the chain of sleep I lie confined,
To all the threat'ning ills of life resign'd,
Regardless of the wand'ring elf of night,
While phantoms break on my immortal sight.
The trump of morning bids my slumbers end,
While from a flood of rest I straight ascend,
When on a busy world I cast my eyes,
And think of nightly slumbers with surprise.

by George Moses Horton.

An Aurora Borealis

O STRANGE soft gleam, o ghostly dawn
That never brightens unto day;
Ere earth's mirk pale once more be drawn
Let us look out beyond the gray.

It is just midnight by the clock--
There is no sound on glen or hill,
The moaning linn adown its rock
Leaps, but the woods lie dark and still.

Austere against the kindling sky
Yon broken turret blacker grows;
Harsh light, to show remorselessly
Ruins night hid in kind repose!

Nay, beauteous light, nay, light that fills
The whole heaven like a dream of morn,
As waking upon northern hills
She smiles to find herself new-born,--

Strange light, I know thou wilt not stay,
That many an hour must come and go
Before the pale November day
Break in the east, forlorn and slow.

Yet blest one gleam--one gleam like this,
When all heaven brightens in our sight,
And the long night that was and is
And shall be, vanishes in light:

O blest one hour like this! to rise
And see grief's shadows backward roll;
While bursts on unaccustomed eyes
The glad Aurora of the soul.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

Before The Rain

BEFORE the rain, low in the obscure east,
Weak and morose the moon hung, sickly gray;
Around its disc the storm mists, cracked and creased,
Wove an enormous web, wherein it lay
Like some white spider hungry for its prey.
Vindictive looked the scowling firmament,
In which each star, that flashed a dagger ray,
Seemed filled with malice of some dark intent.
The marsh-frog croaked; and underneath the stone
The peevish cricket raised a creaking cry.

Within the world these sounds were heard alone,
Save when the ruffian wind swept from the sky,
Making each tree like some sad spirit sigh;
Or shook the clumsy beetle from its weed,
That, in the drowsy darkness, bungling by,
Sharded the silence with its feverish speed.

Slowly the tempest gathered. Hours passed
Before was heard the thunder's sullen drum
Rumbling night's hollow; and the Earth at last,
Restless with waiting,-like a woman, dumb
With doubting of the love that should have clomb
Her casement hours ago,--avowed again,
'Mid protestations, joy that he had come.
And all night long I heard the Heavens explain.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Drink to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh,
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy.
Oh! woman's heart was made
For minstrel hands alone;
By other fingers play'd,
It yields not half the tone.
Then here's to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh,
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy.

At Beauty's door of glass,
When Wealth and Wit once stood,
They ask'd her, "which might pass?"
She answer'd, "he who could."
With golden key Wealth thought
To pass -- but 'twould not do:
While Wit a diamond brought,
Which cut his bright way through.
So here's to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh,
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy.

The love that seeks a home
Where wealth or grandeur shines,
Is like the gloomy gnome,
That dwells in dark mines.
But oh! the poet's love
Can boast a brighter sphere;
Its native home's above,
Though woman keeps it here.
Then drink to her who long
Hath waked the poet's sigh,
The girl who gave to song
What gold could never buy.

by Thomas Moore.