Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
Southern States: Potomac, the River, Va.
Night Scene
Asa Moore Bolles (1802–1832)

’T IS midnight!—through the dusky pines
  The night-wind faintly sighs,—the dew
Just twinkles on the leaf, as shines
  The starlight from its home of blue:
Around how calm! above how clear!        5
No murmur wakes an echo here.
The broad deep river noiseless flows,
  The ripple on the shore expires
Without a sound,—its bosom glows,
  Another sky with all its fires,        10
And glasses purely, deeply down
Night’s raven brow and starry crown.
Far down the winding silent bay
  Where wave and sky uniting sweep
In darker lines, a trembling ray        15
  Comes gleaming o’er the mirrored deep;
Bright, bright amid the horizon’s gloom
It glows like hope above the tomb!
Through many a wild and stormy night,
  Amid the tempest’s gathering war        20
And hissing wrath, that Cresset’s light
  Above the surge has beamed,—a star
To cheer the seaman’s eye, when dark
And dashing billows smote his bark.
But thus, when heaven and earth are still,        25
  And e’en yon snowy wild swan’s cry
Is hushed,—no echo from the hill,
  And winds are sleeping in the sky,—
How pure that midnight beacon glows,
The brooding spirit of repose!        30
But see!—yon eastern blood-red streaks
  Deepening along night’s starry band!
Slow rising o’er the wood-crowned peaks,
  Whose shadows sweep the distant strand,
Peere forth the queen of night,—but now        35
The crown is fading on her brow.
Her glance is on the deep,—so dim
  And joyless o’er the blue wave bending,
You scarce may mark on ocean’s brim
  Yon white sail with the sea-mist blending;        40
Away!—how pale its light wing flies,
Like some pure spirit of the skies!
Lone lovely night! in hours like this,
  To heaven first rose my raptured eye;
And pictured forms in dreams of bliss        45
  Came floating through the shadowy sky;
Gay dreams of youth!—they could not stay,
But fled like yon lone sail away!
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