Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
An Italian Garden (1886)
I. Florentine May
By A. Mary F. Robinson-Darmesteter (1857–1944)
 
STILL, still is the Night; still as the pause after pain;
                Still and as dear;
Deep, solemn, immense; veiling the stars in the clear
Thrilling and luminous blue of the moon—shot atmosphere;
                Ah, could the Night remain!        5
 
Who, truly, shall say thou art sullen or dark or unseen,
                Thou, O heavenly Night,
Clear o’er the valley of olives asleep in the quivering light,
Clear o’er the pale-red hedge of the rose, and the lilies all white
                Down at my feet in the green?        10
 
Nay, not as the Day, thou art light, O Night, with a beam
                Far more dear and divine;
Never the noon was blue as the tremulous heavens of thine,
Pulsing with stars half seen, and vague in a pallid shrine,
                Vague as a dream.        15
 
Night, clear with the moon, filled with the dreamy fire
                Shining in thicket and close,
Fire from the lamp in his breast that the luminous fire-fly throws;
Night, full of wandering light and the song, and the blossoming rose,
                Night, be thou my desire!        20
 
Night, Angel of Night, hold me and cover me so—
                Open thy wings!
Ah, bend above and embrace!—till I hear in the one bird that sings
The throb of thy musical heart in the dusk, and the magical things
                Only the Night can know.        25
 
 
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