Thomas Aird

Night

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From sleepless work, and a ne'er-setting sun,
Imagination shrinking with affright,
Turns with fresh thankfulness to thee, O Night.
Come up the shaded East, silent, composing One!
She comes! A star upon her raven head,
Moist poppies wreathe her locks; solemnities
Of meditative light are in her eyes,
Downcast; and on her breast a sleeping babe is laid.
But Fancy bears her visionary train,
All streaked, and freaked, and figured o'er with traces,
Shimmerings, and glimmerings, shapes, uncertain faces,
Dreams, nightmares, fays, and ghosts, all shadowy vague, and vain.
Down the gulf-stream of worldly tendencies
Yon cumbered Soul is yielding more and more,
And feeblier slanting to the duteous shore;
Look down on him, O Night, with thy most spiritual eyes!
Quick with instinctive longings, from the might
Of those just eyes, upraised he stems, right o'er,
The sordid flood; he stands upon the shore;
Handmaid of Faith and Hope, he blesses thee, O Night.

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Thomas Aird