Elizabeth Bentley Poems >>
Ode To Night

HAIL! sable queen of soft repose,
Who bid'st the weary eyelids close,
To Sleep's profoundest sway resign'd;
Or, still more pleasing to the mind,
Creative Fancy takes her sportive round,
No more in Judgment's fetters bound,
Scorning the limits of the nether sphere,
She soars thro' Ether's wide-spread fields,
To scenes more bright than feign'd Elysium yields:
Pure realms of radiant glory, where
Spirits refin'd from grosser clay,
Exult in endless day.
On pinions swift as those of light,
Thence to earth she aims her flight;
Now on Ideal regions darts her eye,
Thousand forms quick gliding by,
All in motley shapes array'd,
Of mortals long in Death's oblivion laid.
Now to the globe's extremest verge,
Regardless of the billowy surge,
Unknown climes she brings to view,
Fraught with objects vast and new.
Now some magic spot she spies,
Where never-fading flow'rets rise;
Sees elfin fays in circles tripping,
Lightly o'er th' enchanted mead,
Now from the spray the dew-drop sipping,
Now from honied flow'rs they feed;
While heav'nly music greets her ear,
Such as angelic minds might hear.
Thro' peopled cities, lonely groves,
Now o'er hilly scenes she roves,
Where shadows giant forms display,
Cast by the moon's pale glimmering ray.
Till sudden day-light's bustling noise,
Melts into air her futile joys.
Thus oft dissolve the waking dreams,
Of wild Ambition's tow'ring schemes,
By Reason's potent voice subdued,
Hope's shadowy phantoms thus the grasp elude:
Frail as Fancy's light-wing'd pleasures,
Nought secure but Virtue's treasures;
Fix'd as a rock her structure stands,
(Not built on Folly's slippery sands)
And rude Misfortune's blast defies,
Its base on earth, its top beyond the skies.