Midnight

A poem by Alfred Tennyson

’Tis midnight o’er the dim mere’s lonely bosom,
Dark, dusky, windy midnight: swift are driven
The swelling vapours onward: every blossom
Bathes its bright petals in the tears of heaven.
Imperfect, half-seen objects meet the sight,
The other half our fancy must pourtray;
A wan, dull, lengthen’d sheet of swimming light
Lies the broad lake: the moon conceals her ray,
Sketch’d faintly by a pale and lurid gleam
Shot thro’ the glimmering clouds: the lovely planet
Is shrouded in obscurity; the scream
Of owl is silenc’d; and the rocks of granite
Rise tall and drearily, while damp and dank
Hang the thick willows on the reedy bank.
Beneath, the gurgling eddies slowly creep,
Blacken’d by foliage; and the glutting wave,
That saps eternally the cold grey steep,
Sounds heavily within the hollow cave.
All earth is restless–from his glossy wing
The heath-fowl lifts his head at intervals;
Wet, driving, rainy, come the bursting squalls;
All nature wears her dun dead covering.
Tempest is gather’d, and the brooding storm
Spreads its black mantle o’er the mountain’s form;
And, mingled with the rising roar, is swelling,
From the far hunter’s booth, the blood hound’s yelling.
The water-falls in various cadence chiming,
Or in one loud unbroken sheet descending,
Salute each other thro’ the night’s dark womb;
The moaning pine-trees to the wild blast bending,
Are pictured faintly thro’ the chequer’d gloom;
The forests, half-way up the mountain climbing,
Resound with crash of falling branches; quiver
Their aged mossy trunks: the startled doe
Leaps from her leafy lair: the swelling river
Winds his broad stream majestic, deep, and slow.

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