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Night

  • ... the nighttime of the body is the daytime of the soul.

  • My day-mind can endure / Upright, in hope, all it must undergo. / But O, afraid, unsure, / My night-mind waking lies too low, too low.

  • Darkness began to drink up the last cold light upon the mountainside.

  • At night, time becomes a calm sea. It goes on for ever.

  • There is a star that runs very fast, / That goes pulling the moon / Through the tops of the poplars.

  • My mind was clear and penetrating at the time, for it was midnight, the hour at which I am most brave and most free.

  • And another day is tucked under my wing.

  • The night swarmed with threats.

  • Sweet are the flutes of night-time, sweet the truce / Lies between day and day.

  • There is no bleaker moment in the life of the city than that one which crosses the boundary lines between those who have not slept all night and those who are going to work. It was ... as if two races of men and women lived on earth, the night people and the day people, never meeting face to face except at this moment.

  • Tropical nights are hammocks for lovers.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1940, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 3 ()
  • I love the night. I love to feel the tide of darkness rising, slowly and slowly washing, turning over and over, lifting, floating, all that lies strewn upon the dark beach, all that lies hid in rocky hollows.

  • Some nights are like honey — and some like wine — and some like wormwood.

  • Night thoughts aren't to be trusted.

  • Always nights I feel the ocean / Biting at my life.

  • The night is wild and wet. It makes faces at me when I go to the window, like a big gargoyle ...

  • In the dark all dreads are worse.

  • Night is the first skin around me.

  • ... there are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 2 ()
  • ... in spite of what the child has been told he knows that a room in the dark is not the same as one seen earlier in bright daylight.

  • For the night was not impartial. No, the night loved some more than others, served some more than others.

  • Things that live by night live outside the realm of 'normal' time and so suggest living outside the realm of good and evil, since we have moralistic feelings about time. Chauvinistic about our human need to wake by day and sleep by night, we come to associate night dwellers with people up to no good at a time when they have the jump on the rest of us and are defying nature, defying their circadian rhythms.

  • Darkness did not seem so much to fall as it did to rise from a hushed earth to the bright face of the sky. And the sky, at first, strained away — resisting, retreating. But at last the night won — slowly, inexorably, until at last all of earth and sky were cradled in its arms.

  • I heard my little brothers who move by night rustling in grass and tree. A hedgehog crossed my path with a dull squeak, the bats shrilled high to the stars, a white owl swept past me crying his hunting note, a beetle boomed suddenly in my face; and above and through it all the nightingales sang — and sang!

  • This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, / And Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. / At this still hour the self-collected soul / Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there / Of high descent, and more than mortal rank; / An embryo God; a spark of fire divine ...

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "A Summer Evening's Meditation" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Wild nights are my glory.

  • I love thee, mournful sober-suited night ...

  • You lose such a lot of time just sleeping ... when you might just be living! ... It seems such a pity we can't live nights too.

  • Stars over snow / And in the west a planet / Swinging below a star — / Look for a lovely thing and you will find it, / It is not far — / It never will be far.

  • Night is torment. That is why people go to sleep. To avoid clear sight and torment.

  • To wake in the night: be wide awake in an instant, with all your faculties on edge: to wake, and be under compulsion to set in, night for night, at the same point, knowing from grim experience, that the demons awaiting you have each to be grappled with in turn, no single one of them left unthrown, before you can win through to the peace that is utter exhaustion.

  • The night is darkening around me ...

    • Emily Brontë,
    • 1837, in Clement Shorter, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë ()
  • Goodnight stars / Goodnight air / Goodnight noises everywhere.

  • My nights are rich with mystery, my dreams breathless with expectation.

  • It was the sort of night when you think you could lie in the snow until morning and never get cold.

  • Day is dying in the West; / Heav'n is touching the earth with rest ...

  • The worst losses come at night.

  • When the sheep are in the fauld, and a' the kye at hame, / And all the weary world to sleep are gane.

  • Night doesn't fall in Rome; it rises from the city's heart, from the gloomy little alleys and courtyards where the sun never gets much more than a brief look-in, and then, like the mist from the Tiber, it creeps over the rooftops and spreads up into the hills.

  • In the evening your vision widens / looks out beyond midnight — / ... / We are in a sickroom. / But the night belongs to the angels.

    • Nelly Sachs,
    • "In the evening your vision widens," O the Chimneys ()
  • The night will slip away / Like sorrow or a tune.

  • Good news doesn't come at four in the morning. For those unlucky enough to lie wakeful, that silent predawn black is a lonesome place. Worries nibble at the mind. Old regrets come home to roost. As sleep eludes, just beyond grasp, every minute stretches. The clock ticks. Fears that would seem foolish by day take hold of the imagination, and grow.

  • Nighttime is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep.

  • ... the evening was like some great black cow standing there beside her panting softly, so that she could feel its sides breathe. Sweet-smelling darkness with a give to it like a cow's flank.

  • It was one of those nights when the air is blood-temperature and it's impossible to tell where you leave off and it begins.

  • I have always been a night person. When the sun goes down, my spirits rise. I'm more alert, quicker, more in tune with the rhythms of the world.

  • If one is willing to adapt, the darkness offers a place to step beyond the known edge and explore, a place of silence and sound, a place both unpopulated and populous, filled with things we may not see by day.

  • Night breeds its own sort of anticipation.

  • That the covers of books / Will open / And the pastel animals / Run loose in the woods / That the cat / Will write in his diary / Dipping his whisker / In ink / That the stars / Will stroll through the sky / Doing their shopping / That the brook / Will erase the mistakes / Of the bank / That the fish / Will rise up on their tails / And sing to the owl / Until he is blinded / With joy, / That the mice / Will grow antlers / And run in the moonlight / In herds / That the four-chambered rocks / Will know themselves / Pulsing with blood / That the sun / Is behind a curtain / Smiling / And will rise / In the morning / Palming it all / Like a great golden mole / The day in his teeth / Like a jewel.

  • Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; / I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

    • Sarah Williams,
    • "The Old Astronomer," Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse ()
  • The Moon and Pleiades have set, / Midnight is nigh, / The time is passing, passing, yet / Alone I lie.

    • Sappho,
    • 6th c. BCE, in C.R. Haines, ed., Sappho: The Poems and Fragments ()
  • Night after summer night the supper dishes went unwashed while we loafed together on the porch watching fireflies seedstitch the dark with gold.

  • I am singing now / for the night / the almost empty moon / and the land swimming beneath cold bright stars.

  • I think we wake up every day with high intentions and by dusk we have routinely fallen short. Sometimes I think God created the darkness just so he didn't have to look at us all the time.