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George Moses Horton

(1797 - 1884 / Northampton, North Carolina)

Meditation On A Cold, Dark, And Rainy Night


Sweet on the house top falls the gentle shower,
When jet black darkness crowns the silent hour,
When shrill the owlet pours her hollow tone,
Like some lost child sequester'd and alone,
When Will's bewildering wisp begins to flare,
And Philomela breathes her dulcet air,
'Tis sweet to listen to her nightly tune,
Deprived of star-light or the smiling moon.
When deadly winds sweep round the rural shed,
And tell of strangers lost, without a bed,
Fond sympathy invokes her dol'rous lay,
And pleasure steals in sorrow's gloom away,
Till fost'ring Somnus bids my eyes to close,
And smiling visions open to repose;
Still on my soothing couch I lie at ease,
Still round my chamber flows the whistling breeze,
Still in the chain of sleep I lie confined,
To all the threat'ning ills of life resign'd,
Regardless of the wand'ring elf of night,
While phantoms break on my immortal sight.
The trump of morning bids my slumbers end,
While from a flood of rest I straight ascend,
When on a busy world I cast my eyes,
And think of nightly slumbers with surprise.

Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010

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