In the Night

Sometimes at night, when I sit and write,
I hear the strangest things,—
As my brain grows hot with burning thought,
That struggles for form and wings,
I can hear the beat of my swift blood's feet,
As it speeds with a rush and a whir
From heart to brain and back again,
Like a race-horse under the spur.

With my soul's fine ear I listen and hear
The tender Silence speak,
As it leans on the breast of Night to rest,
And presses his dusky cheek.
And the darkness turns in its sleep, and yearns
For something that is kin;
And I hear the hiss of a scorching kiss,
As it folds and fondles Sin.

In its hurrying race through leagues of space,
I can hear the Earth catch breath,
As it heaves and moans, and shudders and groans,
And longs for the rest of Death.
And high and far, from a distant star,
Whose name in unknown to me,
I hear a voice that says, “Rejoice,
For I keep ward o'er thee!”

Oh, sweet and strange are the sounds that range
Through the chambers of the night;
And the watcher who waits by the dim, dark gates,
May hear, if he lists aright.
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