The Song of Night.

I come to thee, O Earth !1
With all my gifts :— for every flower sweet dew,2
In bell, and urn, and chalice, to renew3
The glory of its birth.4
Not one which glimmering lies5
Far amidst folding hills or forest leaves,6
But, through its veins of beauty, so receives7
A spirit of fresh dyes.8
I come with every star :9
Making thy streams, that on their noon-day track10
Gaye but the moss, the reed, the lily back,11
Mirrors of Worlds afar.12
I come with peace ; I shed13
Sleep through thy wood-walks o’er the honey-bee,14
The lark’s triumphant voice, the fawn’s young glee,15
The hyacinth’s meek head.16
On my own heart I lay17
The weary babe, and, sealing with a breath18
Its eyes of love, send fairy dreams, beneath19
The shadowing lids to play.20
I come with mightier things !21
Who calls me silent ? I have many tones22
The dark skies thrill with low mysterious moans23
Borne on my sweeping wings.24
I waft them not alone25
From the deep organ of the forest shades,26
Or buried streams ; unheard amidst their glades,27
Till the bright day is done.28
But in the human breast29
A thousand still small voices I awake,30
Strong in their sweetness from the soul to shake31
The mantle of its rest.32
I bring them from the past :33
From true hearts broken, gentle spirits torn,34
From crushed affections, which, though long o’erborne,35
Make their tone heard at last.36
I bring them from the tomb :37
O’er the sad couch of late repentant love,38
They pass—though low as murmurs of a dove39
Like trumpets through the gloom.40
I come with all my train :41
Who calls me lonely ?— Hosts around me tread,42
The intensely Bright, the Beautiful, the Dread43
Phantoms of heart and brain !44
Looks from departed eyes,45
These are my lightnings !— filled with anguish vain46
Or tenderness too piercing to sustain,47
They smite with agonies.48
I, that with soft control,49
Shut the dim violet, hush the woodland song,50
I am the Avenging One !— the Armed, the Strong,51
The Searcher of the soul !52
I, that shower dewy light53
Through slumbering leaves, bring storms !— the tempest-
Of Memory, Thought, Remorse :— be holy, Earth !—55
I am the solemn Night !56