Poems of Sentiment and Imagination/Darkness

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For works with similar titles, see Darkness.


I sit in the darkness all alone
And list to the night-wind's whispered moan,
That is not as sad as my spirit's tone,
Nor any thing else can be;
For in this starless, moonless night,
With not a ray save the spirit's light,
I am musing o'er leaves, some sad, some bright,
In the book of memory.

A thousand dim forms around me glide,
And circle me in on every side,
And their presence urges the burning tide
Of thought upon my soul.
A fever is scorching heart and brain,
And burning in every throbbing vein,
And sudden thrills of a wild, fierce pain
Are mocking all control.

It is but ray troubled dream, I know;
But the very darkness seems to glow,
And the stars to wander to and fro,
With a red and fiery gleam.
O for a ray of the blessed light,
To break the gloom of this fearful night,
And banish this vision from my sight,
And waken me from my dream.

I did not think, when I sat me here,
That the night would seem so dark and drear,
Or the air so full of forms of fear;
But I wished to sit and think,
In the breathless stillness of the night,
Of a lofty being, pure and bright,
Who had taught my spirit of the might
Of his own soul to drink.

And I dared to think that there might be
In the future's unseen treasury
A long-craved boon reserved for me,
The blessed boon of love!
But the past came up before mine eyes,
And I saw in dim succession rise
A thousand older memories,
Each one with sadness wove.

And a shadow o'er my spirit come,
And darker grew the midnight gloom,
And wilder, busier grew the hum
Of voices from the past;
Till I yielded up my hope in fear,
And shuddered in the darkness drear,
Too wildly sad to weep a tear—
To hope it might not last.

And still I sat when hope was dead.
And did not dare to raise my head,
For fear the vision was not fled,
Until a single star
Burst from the night-clouds' gloomy maze,
And broke on my bewildered gaze
In one intense and glorious blaze,
And darkness fled afar.