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Quotations about Night
Night time is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep. ~Catherine O'Hara
There they stand, the innumerable stars, shining in order like a living hymn, written in light. ~N.P. Willis
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. ~Vincent Van Gogh
The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand. ~Frederick L. Knowles
There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. ~George Carlin, Brain Droppings, 1997
Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber!
~Lord Byron, Childe Harold
Night is a world lit by itself. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
By night, an atheist half believes in God. ~Edward Young, Night Thoughts
O radiant Dark! O darkly fostered ray!
Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow Day.
~George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy
Moonlight is sculpture. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
Metaphor for the night sky: A trillion asterisks and no explanations. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Research is the name given the crystal formed when the night's worry is added to the day's sweat. ~Martin H. Fischer
Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery
Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline
What I take from my nights, I add to my days. ~Leon de Rotrou, "Vencelas," translated
Mine is the night, with all her stars. ~Edward Young
One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will. ~Rachel Carson
If the Stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
O wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
~James Russell Lowell, Midnight
I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does. ~Jorge Luis Borges
There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery. ~Joseph Conrad
Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Egg and The Eye," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Mad-Eye Moody
Is there not
A tongue in every star that talks with man,
And wooes him to be wise? nor wooes in vain;
This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.
~Anna Letitia Barbauld, A Summer Evening's Meditation
Night is the blotting paper for many sorrows. ~Author Unknown
Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity. ~Henry Beston
When the moon, after covering herself with darkness as in sorrow, at last throws off the garments of her widowhood, she does not at once expose herself impudently to the public gaze; but for a time remains veiled in a transparent cloud, till she gradually acquires courage to endure the looks and admiration of beholders. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
In my age, as in my youth, night brings me many a deep remorse. I realize that from the cradle up I have been like the rest of the race - never quite sane in the night. ~Mark Twain
To me at least was never evening yet
But seemed far beautifuller than its day.
~Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book
For the happiest life, rigorously plan your days, leave your nights open to chance. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
The day has eyes; the night has ears. ~David Fergusson
No sight is more provocative of awe than is the night sky. ~Llewelyn Powys, quoted in Highs by Alex J. Packer
Night is a dead monotonous period under a roof; but in the open world it passes lightly, with its stars and dews and perfumes, and the hours are marked by changes in the face of Nature. What seems a kind of temporal death to people choked between walls and curtains, is only a light and living slumber to the man who sleeps afield. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
So dear night the half of life is,
And the fairest half indeed.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Night's black Mantle covers all alike. ~Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas
How magnificent the city is by the June moonlight! — after the streets are empty and silent. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens
The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose... ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night
The healing dark.
~Robert William Service, "Weary"
Dawn seemed to follow midnight with indecent haste. ~J.K. Rowling
Night has become painful for me. It brings to light the regrets of the day. ~Grey Livingston
Look how the pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her....
~Charles Best, "A Sonnet of the Moon"
The stars are the street lights of eternity. ~Author Unknown
A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders. ~Edward Plunkett
How like a queen comes forth the lonely Moon
From the slow opening curtains of the clouds
Walking in beauty to her midnight throne!
~George Croly, Diana
To seek the breast of darkness and be suckled by the night. ~Paul Simon, "A Poem on the Underground Wall"
Fooey! The porchlight is burnt out, and I can't see whether it's dark outside or not. ~Dave Beard
How long the night seems to one kept awake by pain. ~Bernard Joseph Saurin, Blanche et Guiscard, translated
The night is forever. I can't sleep.
The clear moon is so bright, so bright.
I almost think I hear a voice call me,
and to the empty sky say, Yes?
~Zi Ye, translated
Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel. ~Samuel Johnson
Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night. ~Philip K. Dick
Moon hangs, almost full
pieces of cloud scatter,
glide in soft, summer breeze.
We lay in our meadow
listening to the sound of night....
~Daniel James Burt, "Meadow Again"
It is one of life's bitterest truths that bedtime so often arrives just when things are really getting interesting. ~Lemony Snicket
For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. ~Vincent Van Gogh
Day hath put on his jacket, and around
His burning bosom buttoned it with stars.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Evening"
You can't stand up to the night until you understand what's hiding in its shadows. ~Charles De Lint
[I]t seemed as if the streets were absorbed by the sky, and the night were all in the air. ~Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
...So let us welcome peaceful evening in. ~William Cowper
A hand omnipotent, in endless space,
From chaos, formed a world and found a place,
Where, through the countless ages, yet unborn,
A star might shine from dusk to rosy morn....
~Author Unknown, "The Fall of Man"
In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time. ~Somerset Maugham
Stars are the daisies that begem
The blue fields of the sky.
Every sleepy boy and girl in every bed around the world can hear the stars up in the sky whispering a lullaby. ~Mary Chapin Carpenter
Press close, bare-bosomed Night! Press close, magnetic,
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!
In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night." ~Charles M. Schulz
...I thought I would step out into the cool night-air.... It was a glorious night. The moon had sunk and left the quiet earth alone with the stars.... They awe us, these strange stars, so cold, so clear.... [I]t seems so full of comfort and of strength, the night. In its great presence, our small sorrows creep away, ashamed. The day has been so full of fret and care, and our hearts have been so full of evil and of bitter thoughts, and the world has seemed so hard and wrong to us. Then Night, like some great loving mother, gently lays her hand upon our fevered head, and turns our little tear-stained faces up to hers, and smiles; and, though she does not speak, we know what she would say, and lay our hot flushed cheek against her bosom, and the pain is gone. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889
Night's heart is full of pity for us: she cannot ease our aching; she takes our hand in hers, and the little world grows very small and very far away beneath us, and, borne on her dark wings, we pass for a moment into a mightier Presence than her own, and in the wondrous light of that great Presence, all human life lies like a book before us, and we know that Pain and Sorrow are but the angels of God. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889
For the night shows stars and women in a better light. ~Lord Byron, Don Juan
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done
Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued dark tonight turning to partly light in the morning. ~George Carlin
We spend our midday sweat, our midnight oil;
We tire the night in thought, the day in toil.
Give me my Romeo; and, when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Beware thoughts that come in the night. They aren't turned properly; they come in askew, free of sense and restriction, deriving from the most remote of sources. ~William Trogdon
Cherries of the night are riper
Than the cherries pluckt at noon...
In the cherry pluckt at night,
With the dew of summer swelling,
There's a juice of pure delight,
Cool, dark, sweet, divinely smelling...
I rise and turn back.... leaving the rest of the world to coyotes who are now running across the mountain together, howling and yipping behind me, calling for the frozen night to come. ~Craig Childs, The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild
It was a lovely evening. Night was out hunting on her black steed, and the long cloud mane fluttered on the wind. I stood at my window watching the moon. Is there really a "man in the moon?"... When I was little they told me that the moon was a fruit, and that when it was ripe, it was picked and laid away, amid a vast collection of old full moons, in a great bureau, which stood at the end of the world, where it is nailed up with boards. ~Heinrich Heine, "The Hartz Journey" (1824), Pictures of Travel, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, 1855
And from my heart poured out the feeling of love;—it poured forth with wild longing into the broad night. The flowers in the garden beneath my window breathed a stronger perfume. Perfumes are the feelings of flowers, and as the human heart feels most powerful emotions in the night, when it believes itself to be alone and unperceived, so also do the flowers, soft-minded, yet ashamed, appear to await for concealing darkness, that they may give themselves wholly up to their feelings, and breathe them out in sweet odours. ~Heinrich Heine, "The Hartz Journey" (1824), Pictures of Travel, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, 1855
By day each soul must walk within its shadow.
Only night can make us whole again...
~Nicholas Gordon, www.poemsforfree.com
How lovely are the portals of the night,
When stars come out to watch the daylight die.
~Thomas Cole, Twilight
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
[O]ne moon lights a thousand forevers... ~Meng Chiao
A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man woke in the night. ~J.M. Barrie, The Little Minister, 1891
Above the tower - a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across waves...
Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden.... All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!
~Tu Fu, "Full Moon," translated by David Hinton
'Tis midnight now. The bend and broken moon,
Batter'd and black, as from a thousand battles,
Hangs silent on the purple walls of Heaven.
~Joaquin Miller, Ina
Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets. ~William Faulkner
We wake in the night, to stereophonic silence. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the moon.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cloud
Day, like a weary pilgrim, had reached the western gate of heaven, and Evening stooped down to unloose the latchets of his sandal shoon. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion
Midnight! the outpost of advancing day!
The frontier town and citadel of night!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Two Rivers
Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence.
~John Milton, Paradise Lost
Thank Heaven, the sun has gone in, and I don't have to go out and enjoy it. ~Logan Pearsall Smith
The young moon has fed
Her exhausted horn
With the sunset's fire.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley
These blessed candles of the night. ~William Shakespeare, referring to stars, Merchant of Venice
With finger on her solemn lip,
Night hushed the shadowy earth.
It seemed to be a necessary ritual that he should prepare himself for sleep by meditating under the solemnity of the night sky... a mysterious transaction between the infinity of the soul and the infinity of the universe. ~Victor Hugo
Acknowledgment: Thank you very much to John C. Shepard of the GIGA Quotes Home Page for sharing some of the wonderful quotations on this page!
Last modified 2014 Feb 28 Fri 20:54 PST