Sometimes at night, when I sit and write,
    I hear the strangest things,--
As my brain grows hot with a burning thought,
    That struggles for form and wings,
I can hear the beat of my swift blood's feet,
    As it speeds with a rush and a whir
From heart to brain and back again,
    Like a racehorse under the spur.
With my soul's fine ear I listen and hear
    The tender silence speak,
As it leans on the breast of Night to rest
    And presses his dusky cheek.
And the darkness turns in its sleep, and yearns
    For something that is kin;
And I hear the hiss of a scorching kiss,
    As it folds and fondles Sin.
In its hurrying race through leagues of space,
    I can hear the Earth catch breath,
As it heaves and moans, and shudders and groans,
    And longs for the rest of Death.
And high and far, from a distant star,
    Whose name is unknown to me,
I hear a voice that says, Rejoice,
    For I keep ward o'er thee!
Oh, sweet and strange are the sounds that range
    Through the chambers of the night;
And the watcher who waits by the dim, dark gates,
    May hear if he lists aright.

                             ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.

The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 30 May 1901: 7.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

Back to Poem Index