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And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,

Which only the angels hear, May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,

The stars peep behind her and peer; And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,

Like a swarm of golden bees,
55 When I widen the rent in my wind built tent,

Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,

Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,

And the moon's with a girdle of pearl; The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,

When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. From cape to cape with a bridge-like shape,

Over a torrent sea,
65 Sunbeam proof, I hang like a roof,

The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march

With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the powers of the air are chained to my chair,

Is the million colored bow;
The sphere fire above its soft colors wove,

While the moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,

And the nursling of the sky; 75 I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;

I change, but I cannot die.




For after the rain when with never a stain,

The pavilion of heaven is bare, And the winds and sunbeams with their convex

gleams, Build up the blue dome of air, I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the

tomb, I arise and unbuild it again.



QUESTIONS FOR STUDY Line 7. Who is the mother"?

Line 32. Follow this wonderful picture of the sunrise as a great bird. Point out each comparison.

Line 33. How can a star “shine dead?
Lines 45-52. Memorize these stanzas.
Lines 61 and 62. What is the picture here?


This apostrophe to night is one of the most beautifully fanciful poems in the English language. Try to see the picture in each stanza.


Swiftly walk over the western wave,

Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,

Cenotaph, tomb.


Where all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear -

Swift be thy flight!



Wrap thy form in a mantle gray,

Star inwrought!
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day
Kiss her until she be wearied out,
Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand -

Come, long sought !



When I arose and saw the dawn,

I sighed for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary day turned to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,

I sighed for thee.



Thy brother Death came, and cried,

“Wouldst thou me?"
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy eyed,
Murmured like a noontide bee,
Shall I nestle near thy side ?


“Wouldst thou me?" - And I replied,

“No, not thee!”




Death will come when thou art dead,

Soon, too soon -
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!



Line 1. Why is the night represented as walking over the western wave, but coming out of the eastern cave ?

Why does the poet love the night ? Lines 8 and 9. What is this picture? Line 13. Why opiate wand ? Line 24. Why filmy eyed ? Discuss and explain : “wovest dreams,” line 5; star inwrought,” line 9; "opiate wand,” line 13; light rode high,” line 17.



The author of the following poem and also of three poems in the Fifth Reader has often been called the Poet

Laureate of Virginia, and was so recognized by the Congress of the United States, when it chose him as the poet of the Yorktown Centennial in 1881. His whole life

was devoted to literature. Personally he was a man of great charm and well beloved. He has been called by his friends “A very Chevalier Bayard."

Over his tomb in Hampton is a shaft bearing this legend :

“The tribute of his

friends offered to the memory of the Poet, Patriot, Scholar, and Journalist, and the Knightly Virginian Gentleman.”

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