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Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Night and Day


When the golden day is done,
Through the closing portal,
Child and garden, Flower and sun,
Vanish all things mortal.

As the blinding shadows fall
As the rays diminish,
Under evening's cloak they all
Roll away and vanish.

Garden darkened, daisy shut,
Child in bed, they slumber--
Glow-worm in the hallway rut,
Mice among the lumber.

In the darkness houses shine,
Parents move the candles;
Till on all the night divine
Turns the bedroom handles.

Till at last the day begins
In the east a-breaking,
In the hedges and the whins
Sleeping birds a-waking.

In the darkness shapes of things,
Houses, trees and hedges,
Clearer grow; and sparrow's wings
Beat on window ledges.

These shall wake the yawning maid;
She the door shall open--
Finding dew on garden glade
And the morning broken.

There my garden grows again
Green and rosy painted,
As at eve behind the pane
From my eyes it fainted.

Just as it was shut away,
Toy-like, in the even,
Here I see it glow with day
Under glowing heaven.

Every path and every plot,
Every blush of roses,
Every blue forget-me-not
Where the dew reposes,

"Up!" they cry, "the day is come
On the smiling valleys:
We have beat the morning drum;
Playmate, join your allies!"

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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