Songs of the Night


The wind is sighing low
With music soft and slow
Through the bare stunted branches of the trees;
And like a silver bow
The moon sails high
In ‘spangled sky,
And drowsy tinglings tell of folded flocks in slumb’ring leas.

The little streamlet’s song
As it ripples along
Makes elf-like melody in the velvet night;
But all the feathered throng
Are gone to rest
In secret nest,
And leave the stage for other songsters in the pale moonlight.

Who said songs were earth-made?
Who airs were worldly said?
Who music’s man’s creation still believes?
He in his soul is dead
That harks with worldly ears!
Music of spheres
He hears not, loves not in the night the rustling of the leaves.

Elusive, never caught!
Nor learned, but ever taught!
We stretch our ears to trap the slightest sounds
Fleeting as quickened thought;
Such is the stream
In singing dream,
And anthems chanted by the breezes o’er the wooded ground.

No fixed music this,
Flown like a moment’s kiss;
Each night the brook selects a different tune!
Sometimes its waters hiss,
Babble in sleep
And laugh and weep –
Ah! Wondrous are all nature’s songs beneath the list’ning moon!