She Walks in Beauty Like The Night, Lord Byron
Throbs The Night, Hayyim Bialik
Hymn To The Night, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sleep That Knits Up the Ravelled Sleeve of Care, Shakespeare
In Praise of My Bed, Meredith Holmes
Winken Blinken and Nod, Eugene Field
Sonnet 81, Pablo Neruda
Dream Variations, Langston Hughes
At The Time of the Night Prayer, Rumi
The Slave’s Dream, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Last Night As I was Sleeping, Antonio Machado
Blue Moon, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart

*                *                *

Plant the Stars, Susan Werner
The Sleepers, Walt Whitman
In the Still of the Night, Cole Porter
Fly Me to the Moon, Bart Howard
Like a Prayer, Madonna


She Walks in Beauty Like The Night
by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!


Throbs The Night
by Hayyim Bialik

Throbs the night with mystic silence,
Hushed the weary world and still;
And the ever-flowing brooklet
Murmurs ’neath the resting mill.

Darker grows the night and darker,
Shadows upon shadows creep;
One bright star and yet another
Falls into the darkness deep.

All the world is wrapped in silence,
But my heart seeks no repose;
And within my heart a fountain
Softly bubbles there and flows.

Speaks my heart: “Son, the fulfillment
Of thy dream at length draws nigh;
Lo, a star falls! Do not tremble —
Thine yet sparkles in the sky.

“Thine is firmly fixed and shining
Yonder in its azure nest;
Lift thine eyes and see it twinkling,
Kindling hope within thy breast.”

All the world is wrapped in silence,
As I sit here pensively;
One world have I – yea, no other
Than the world which lives in me.


Hymn To the Night
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o’er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet’s rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there,—
From those deep cisterns flows.

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care
And they complain no more.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-beloved Night!


Sleep That Knits Up the Ravelled Sleeve of Care
by Shakespeare
(Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2)

[I]nnocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
the death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds,
great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.


In Praise of My Bed
by Meridth Holmes

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Winken Blinken and Nod
by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe—
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea—
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish—
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ’twas a dream they ‘d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea—
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
And Nod.


Sonnet 81
by Pablo Neruda

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Dream Variations
by Langston Hughes

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At The Time of the Night Prayer
by Rumi

At the time of the night prayer,
As the sun slides down,
The route the senses walk on closes;
The route to the invisible opens.

The angel of sleep then gathers and drives along the spirit,
Just as the mountain-keeper gathers his sheep on the slope.

And what amazing sights he offers to the descending sheep —
Cities with sparkling streets.
Hyacinth gardens.
Emerald pastures.

The spirits see astounding beings —
Turtles turn to men,
Men turn to angels,
When sleep erases the banal.

I think one could say that the spirit goes back to its own home.
It no longer remembers where it lives.
And it loses its fatigue.
It carries around in life so many griefs and loads, and trembles under their weight.
They are gone.
It’s all well.


The Slave’s Dream
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair
Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
He saw his Native Land.

Wide through the landscape of his dreams
The lordly Niger flowed;
Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
Once more a king he strode;
And heard the tinkling caravans
Descend the mountain-road.

He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,
They held him by the hand!—
A tear burst from the sleeper’s lids
And fell into the sand.

And then at furious speed he rode
Along the Niger’s bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,
And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel
Smiting his stallion’s flank.

Before him, like a blood-red flag,
The bright flamingoes flew;
From morn till night he followed their flight,
O’er plains where the tamarind grew,
Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,
And the ocean rose to view.

At night he heard the lion roar,
And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds
Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,
Through the triumph of his dream.

The forests, with their myriad tongues,
Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,
With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled
At their tempestuous glee.

He did not feel the driver’s whip,
Nor the burning heat of day;
For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,
And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul
Had broken and thrown away!


Last Night As I Was Sleeping
by Antonio Machado
(translated by Robert Bly)

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – marvelous illusion —
that there was a spring breaking
out in my heart.

I said: Along which secret aqueduct
are you coming to me, o water,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous illusion! —
that there was a beehive
here in my heart.

And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey,
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! —
that there was a fiery sun
here in my heart.
It was fiery because it gave
warmth as if from a hearth,
and it was sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt — marvelous error!
That there was God
here in my heart.


Blue Moon
by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart

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