[Page 30]


1 SOLEMN is night, when Silence holds her reign,
2 And the hush'd winds die on the heaving main;
3 When no short gleam of scatter'd light appears,
4 Nor lunar beams make faint the nobler stars;
5 Then those whom inward cares deprive of rest
6 Pour forth the secret sorrows of the breast.
7 Such was the night-smooth glides the bark along,
8 From whence young HENRY breath'd his thoughtful song;
9 Pacing the deck, he threw his eyes around
10 The thick-starr'd firmament, and vast profound;
11 The patient winds scarce whistled o'er the waist,
12 The burning waves the vessel's prow embrac'd;
13 The nitrous air unclouded glow'd on high,
14 With northern meteors trembling through the sky.
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15 "Eternal Power!" he cried, "with justice fraught,
16 " O! teach a wretch to curb each stubborn thought,
17 "Whose passions reason's powers no more restrain,
18 " Grown wanton midst intolerable pain.
19 "Pierc'd by ingratitude, I rove forlorn,
20 " My faithful heart by strong affection torn;
21 "A willing exile on the dangerous main,
22 " Unshook by storms, while calms breathe peace in vain.
23 "Oft with unmanly tenderness I mourn;
24 " And, tortur'd by imagination, burn;
25 "Sighs in a natural cadence close each song,
26 " And tones of anguish vibrate on my tongue.
27 "All is now hush'd, still as the silent grave,
28 " The breeze scarce swells the smooth unruffled wave,
29 "Which glittering with celestial lustre bright,
30 " Reflects the spangled heaven's ethereal light:
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31 "O! how sublime this tract, for man design'd!
32 " Vast the perceptions of his rapid mind!
33 "Strongly to earth his young affections cling,
34 " While Fancy waves her bright and various wing;
35 "But soon each hope of earthly bliss is cross'd,
36 " Nipt in the bud, or in possession lost;
37 "Blushing, our empty wishes we survey,
38 " When we our passions with their motives weigh.
39 "Deeply I feel this still and solemn hour,
40 " Impress'd with GOD'S immeasurable power;
41 "While worlds unnumber'd 'mid yon ether burn,
42 " And thoughts immense pour in where'er I turn.
43 "How much man errs, whose soul, with thought sublime,
44 " Looks on tow'rds endless bliss thro' boundless time!
45 "When he to earthly passions gives dire sway,
46 " Or mourns those joys which of themselves decay!


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): NIGHT.
Genres: heroic couplet; meditation

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Source edition

Cristall, Ann Batten. Poetical Sketches by Ann Batten Cristall. London: Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard, 1795, pp. 30-32. [14],187,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T126557)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.