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 race-horse 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 thro' 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
    Thro' the chambers of the night;
And the watcher who waits by the dim, dark gates
    May hear, if he lists aright.

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The American Rural Home. [Rochester, NY and Chicago] 20 (49) Whole No. 1039 (Saturday, December 6, 1890).

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