Night And Sleep

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How strange at night to wake
And watch, while others sleep,
Till sight and hearing ache
For objects that may keep
The awful inner sense
Unroused, lest it should mark
The life that haunts the emptiness
And horror of the dark!
How strange at night the bay
Of dogs, how wild the note
Of cocks that scream for day,
In homesteads far remote;
How strange and wild to hear
The old and crumbling tower,
Amid the darkness, suddenly
Take tongue and speak the hour!
Albeit the love-sick brain
Affects the dreary moon,
Ill things alone refrain
From life’s nocturnal swoon:
Men melancholy mad,
Beasts ravenous and sly,
The robber, and the murderer,
Remorse, with lidless eye.
The nightingale is gay,
For she can vanquish night;
Dreaming, she sings of day
Notes that make darkness bright;
But when the refluent gloom
Saddens the gaps of song,
Men charge on her the dolefulness,
And call her crazed with wrong.

 

– Coventry Patmore

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