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the Night Sky
Moon & Clouds
The Night walked down the sky
With the moon in her hand...
~Frederic Lawrence Knowles, "A Memory," Love Triumphant, 1904
So that at eve, at Nature's shuddering hour...
Sirius appears, and on the horizon black,
Bids countless stars pursue their mighty track,
The clouds the only birds that never sleep,
Collected by the winds through heaven's steep—
The moon, the stars, the white-cap't hills...
~Victor Hugo, "The Vanished City," translated by Henry Carrington
The sun is a luminous shield
Borne up the blue path
By a god;
The moon is the torch
Of an old man
Who stumbles over stars.
~Eda Lou Walton, "The Lights," c. 1919
When a calm, clear evening follows a warm day we see the mist gathering in the valleys, creeping stealthily and silently up the hillsides, and rising into the air in long, low, horizontal streaks which are made beautiful by the silent, silvery light of moon and stars. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
A furious night wind whips tree branches into a violent frenzy.
The moon replies
with a poem.
~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com
He stretched himself out... looking up at the moon. The sky was a midnight-blue, like warm, deep, blue water, and the moon seemed to lie on it like a water-lily, floating forward with an invisible current. One expected to see its great petals open. ~Willa Sibert Cather, One of Ours, 1922
I am mad with the sight of stars, and frenzied with the beauty of the silver, wanton moon. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Prayers of a Worldling: V," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Life is so much clearer under the stars than under a roof. ~Terri Guillemets
How beautiful this night!...Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which love had spread
To curtain her sleeping world...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab
The moving Moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide.
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside—
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars... and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God's out-of-doors — these are little guide-posts on the foot-path to peace. ~Henry Van Dyke, "The Foot-Path to Peace"
Indigo yearnings, starry hopes, dark forebodings. It's a storied sky tonight, telling ancient tales. ~Dr. SunWolf, tweet, 2011, professorsunwolf.com
How pleasant now, pale empress of the sky... ~Henry Heavisides (1791–1870), "Moonlight Musings"
The twilight tints have left the sky, and night commences her watch over the world, high in the heavens is her taper lit, around which will soon glow a thousand kindred flames. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation II: Footsteps on the Sand," 1850
Give me nights perfectly quiet... and I looking up at the stars... ~Walt Whitman
Metaphor for the night sky: A trillion asterisks and no explanations. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Venus has left the stars of the Virgin behind, and is sailing into the Claws. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), @Raqhun, tweet, 2007 #virgo #libra #scorpius
...the twinkling anatomy of Orion and his skymates... ~Terri Guillemets
Lightning is but a circlet of light about my throat...
Stars are but fireflies — I catch them in my playful hands.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Life-Freedom: VI," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Look out into the July night, and see the broad belt of silver flame which flashes up the half of heaven, fresh and delicate as the bonfires of the meadow-flies. Yet the powers of numbers cannot compute its enormous age,—lasting as space and time,—embosomed in time and space. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Progress of Culture"
Which stand as thick as dewdrops on the fields
~Philip James Bailey, Festus: A Poem, 1838
Orion the Hunter is above the hill. Taurus, a sparkling V, is directly overhead, pointing to the Seven Sisters. Sirius, one of Orion's heel dogs, is pumping red-blue-violet, like a galactic disco ball. As the night moves on, the old dog will set into the hill. ~Karen Emslie, "Broken sleep," Aeon.co, 2014
Ah, what tales the Moon can tell! ~Hans Christian Andersen, "What the Moon Saw," translated by H. W. Dulcken
for our souls.
~Terri Guillemets, "Faith well lit," 2011
The sky was clear — remarkably clear — and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse. The North star was directly in the wind's eye, and since evening the Bear had swung round it outwardly to the east... The kingly brilliancy of Sirius pierced the eye with a steely glitter, the star called Capella was yellow, Aldebaran and Betelgueux shone with a fiery red.
To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement... the impression of riding along is vivid and abiding. The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, first enlarging the consciousness with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are horizontal and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars. After such a nocturnal reconnoitre among these astral clusters, aloft from the customary haunts of thought and vision, some men may feel raised to a capability for eternity at once. ~Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, 1874
Each full moon brings a different season to my tipi. Thirteen seasons a year. Seasons that have no names other than that of their moon. The November moon of the first strong snows. The August moon of hot days and thunderstorm nights... High winter, the February moon, was when you first wished winter would end and when you first knew that it would not. ~Craig Childs, Crossing Paths: Uncommon Encounters with Animals in the Wild, 1997
I stood, I knew not why,
Without a wish, without a will,
I stood upon that silent hill
And stared into the sky until
My eyes were blind with stars and still
I stared into the sky.
~Ralph Hodgson, "The Song of Honour"
Stars: pearls round the tiara of midnight, mysterious heaven-lights to serve the spirit's flight to paradise. ~T. C. Henley, "Beauty," 1851 [a little altered —tg]
Imagine how many glorious winters and springs
The stars from their celestial perches have seen.
All its being belted
With a glory bright,
While into heaven it melted
In a dream of light.
Never more glance crossed it
In the sky-heart far,
But where I had lost it
Shone the evening star.
~"The Cloud," Excelsior: Helps to Progress in Religion, Science, and Literature, Vol. VI, edited by James Hamilton, 1856
Thou fair-hair'd angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
~William Blake (1757-1827), "To The Evening Star"
Clouds tie-dye the night. ~Terri Guillemets
...there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night...
Day is a solar cathedral, night a starry sanctuary. ~Terri Guillemets
Die down, O dismal day! and let me live.
And come, blue deeps! magnificently strewn
With colored clouds — large, light, and fugitive —
By upper winds through pompous motions blown.
The night sky is a miracle of infinitude. ~Terri Guillemets, "Temere Sætninger: ix," 2006
High in the air rises the forest of oaks, high over the oaks soar the eagle, high over the eagle sweep the clouds, high over the clouds gleam the stars... high over the stars sweep the angels... ~Heinrich Heine, "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855
Night-time moon —
glowing, muted, soft
distant light to soothe
our harshly lit days
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Morituri Salutamus"
If stars were notes upon a musical sky
the night what a song of beauty!
Last saved 2020 Sep 30 Wed 16:31 PDT