Entry October 15 by Walter Benton

Everyone is sleeping. Nothing wakes. The woods
are motionless. The wind is down to a whisper.
Sleep hums like current – yes, audibly – through the bright steel night.

The evening star rises like a flaming wick.
Hills fit into hills like lovers, their great dark straddling thighs
clasping still greater darkness where they meet. A star breaks,
arcs down the night – like God striking a match across the cathedral ceiling.

Therefore I wish: see my lips move – making your name. It is so still,
so still. I am sure that you must hear me.


Light the Lamps Up, Lamplighter! by Eleanor Farjeon

Light the lamps up, lamplighter,
The people are in the street
Without a light
They have no sight,
And where will they plant their feet?
Some will tread in the gutter
And some in the mud, oh dear!
Light the lamps up, lamplighter,
Because the night is here.

Light the candles, grandmother,
The children are going to bed
Without a wick They’ll stumble and stick,
And where will they lay their head?
Some will sleep on the staircase,
And some on the hearth – oh dear!
Light the candles, grandmother,
Because the night is here.

Light the stars up, Gabriel,
The cherubs are out to fly
If heaven is blind
How will they find
Their way across the sky?
Some will splash in the Milky Way,
Or bump on the moon, oh dear!
Light the stars up, Gabriel,
Because the night is here.

Night by William Blake

The sun descending in the west;
  The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
  And I must seek for mine.
    The moon, like a flower
    In heaven’s high bower,
    With silent delight
    Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
  Where flocks have took delight,
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
  The feet of angels bright;
    Unseen, they pour blessing,
    And joy without ceasing,
    On each bud and blossom,
    And each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest
  Where birds are covered warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
  To keep them all from harm:
    If they see any weeping
    That should have been sleeping,
    They pour sleep on their head,
    And sit down by their bed.

When wolves and tigers howl for prey,
  They pitying stand and weep;
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
  And keep them from the sheep.
    But, if they rush dreadful,
    The angels, most heedful,
    Receive each mild spirit,
    New worlds to inherit.

And there the lion’s ruddy eyes
  Shall flow with tears of gold:
And pitying the tender cries,
  And walking round the fold:
    Saying: ‘Wrath by His meekness,
    And, by His health, sickness,
    Is driven away
    From our immortal day.

‘And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
  I can lie down and sleep,
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
  Graze after thee, and weep.
    For, washed in life’s river,
    My bright mane for ever
    Shall shine like the gold,
    As I guard o’er the fold.’

To the Night by Harriet Maxwell Converse

The west is barred with hurrying clouds,
Within whose deep vermillion shrouds,
While soft winds whisper mournful sighs,
In fickle lights the dear Day lies;
With dreams of distance in her grace,
She met her Morn with glowing face;
Deserted glory in her glance,
She swoons to death, in languid trance
And thy uncertain light–
Thou hastening Night!

If o’er thy broad and darkling land
Day’s ghost go wandering, hand in hand
With some sad secret of Life’s years,
Keeping her vigils through her tears,
With uncreated Morrow’s day
(The inward light), make fond delay,
And kiss, with lingering, fragrant breath,
Sweet Sleep–the image of this death–
To dreams of worlds more bright,
Thou friendly Night!

If from the solitudes of pain–
Through veiling mists of sorrow’s rain–
To thy lone shrine, where tapers burn,
In quest of peace, some hope return
(Her future lost–through loss of trust–
And weary of her laurelled dust),
Oh! give her faith that shall endure,
And make her waning strength more sure!
Haste then the Morn with swifter flight,
Thou tardy Night!

If in some hour unknown before,
Within the threshold of thy door,
With face so fair, yet unrevealed,
Whose silent lips are yet unsealed,
Love’s messenger, with patience waits,
Conduct him to thy Morning’s gates
In crimsoned garments; like the rose
Adorned with dews, that blushing glows
With warmth and trusting tendance wooed,
With Life’s dear light through dawn renewed,
And bring Love’s day–Love’s promised light,
Thou welcome Night!