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NIGHT
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[ Also see Bed Blindness Darkness Day Evening Light Midnight Nature Oblivion Obscurity Shadows Sky Sleep Stars Sunset Twilight ]

When the searching eye of heaven is hid
  Behind the globe, and lights the lower world,
    Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen,
      In murthers and in outrage boldly here.
      - William Shakespeare

Now the hungry lion roars,
  And the wolf behowls the moon;
    Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
      All with weary task fordone.
      - William Shakespeare,
        A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck at V, i)

Two nights together had these gentlemen,
  Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch
    In the dead waste and middle of the night
      Been thus encountered.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Horatio at I, ii)

What may this mean
  That thou, dead corpse, again in complete steel,
    Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
      Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
        So horridly to shake our disposition
          With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at I, iv)

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
  When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
    Contagion to this world.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, ii)

The day begins to break and night is fled,
  Whose pitchy mantle overveiled the earth.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part I
         (Bedford at II, ii)

Go not my horse the better,
  I must become a borrower of the night
    For a dark hour or twain.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Banquo at III, i)

Come, seeling night,
  Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
    And with thy bloody and invisible hand
      Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
        Which keeps me pale. Light thickens, and the crow
          Makes wing to th' rooky wood.
            Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
              While night's black agents to their prey do rouse.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at III, ii)

The night is long that never finds the day.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Malcolm at IV, iii)

This is the night
  That either makes me or fordoes me quite.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Iago at V, ii)

Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night;
  Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
      And he will make the face of heaven so fine
        That all the world will be in love with night
          And pay no worship to the garish sun.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Juliet at III, ii)

How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh
  Which Vernal Zephyrs breathe in evening's ear
    Were discord to the speaking quietude
      That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
        Studded with stars, unutterably bright,
          Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
            Seems like a canopy which love has spread
              To curtain her sleeping world.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab (pt. IV)

Swiftly walk over the western wave,
  Spirit of Night!
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, To Night

How beautiful is night!
  A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
    No mist obscures, nor cloud nor speck nor stain
      Breaks the serene of heaven.
      - Robert Southey, Thalaba (bk. I)

Dead sounds at night come from the inmost hills,
  Like footsteps upon wool.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Aenone (st. 20)

I was heavy with the even,
  When she lit her glimmering tapers
    Round the day's dead sanctities.
      I laughed in the morning's eyes.
      - Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven
         (l. 84)

Now black and deep the Night begins to fall,
  A shade immense! Sunk in the quenching Gloom,
    Magnificent and vast, are heaven and earth.
      Order confounded lies; all beauty void,
        Distinction lost, and gay variety
          One universal blot: such the fair power
            Of light, to kindle and create the whole.
      - James Thomson (1), Seasons--Autumn
         (l. 113)

Come, drink the mystic wine of Night,
  Brimming with silence and the stars;
    While earth, bathed in this holy light,
      Is seen without its scars.
      - Louis Untermeyer, The Wine of Night

When, upon orchard and lane, breaks the white foam of the Spring
  When, in extravagant revel, the Dawn, a Bacchante upleaping,
    Spills, on the tresses of Night, vintages golden and red
      When, as a token at parting, munificent Day for remembrance,
        Gives, unto men that forget, Ophirs of fabulous ore.
      - Sir William Watson (2), Hymn to the Sea
         (pt. III, 12)

Mysterious night! when our first parent knew
  Thee from report divine, and heard thy name,
    Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
      This glorious canopy of light and blue?
      - Joseph Blanco White, Night and Death

The summer skies are darkly blue,
  The days are still and bright,
    And Evening trails her robes of gold
      Through the dim halls of Night.
      - Mrs. Sarah Helen Power Whitman,
        Summer's Call

The night is made for tenderness,--so still that the low whisper, scarcely audible, is heard like music,--and so deeply pure that the fond thought is chastened as it springs and on the lip made holy.
      - Nathaniel Parker Willis

Night begins to muffle up the day.
      - George Wither (Whyther or Withers),
        Mistresse of Philarete

Night is fair virtue's immemorial friend;
  The conscious moon, through every distant age,
    Has held a lamp to wisdom, and let fall
      On contemplation's eye her purging ray.
      - Edward Young

O majestic night! nature's great ancestor!
      - Edward Young


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