Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Night and Death
By Joseph Blanco White (1775–1841)
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?
Yet ’neath a curtain of translucent dew,        5
  Bathed in the rays of the great setting Flame,
  Hesperus with the Host of Heaven came,
  And lo! Creation widened on Man’s view.
Who could have thought such Darkness lay concealed
  Within thy beams, O Sun! or who could find,        10
  Whilst flower, and leaf, and insect stood revealed,
  That to such countless Orbs thou mad’st us blind!
Why do we then shun Death with anxious strife?
  If Light can thus deceive, wherefore not Life?

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