A prospect of Night

Tim Goldring 1953 (Shoreham)



A PROSPECT OF NIGHT

"On the shores of Gitche Gumee,
Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood Nokomis, the old woman,
Pointing with her finger westward…”
H.W. LONGFELLOW


Sitting alone on the garden bench,
Where the ivy twines the garden fence,
The blush rose dropped a petal or two,
I knew this Summer’s Day was through,

Then came to me my special friend,
The lovely lady called Days-End;
She comes as the day is winding down,
Wearing twilight as her evening-gown.

Her corsage of wisteria climbs the wall,
Where the velvet hem of her shadows fall.
Dimming the trailing lilac-cluster,
Of their lovely light and lilac-luster.

Wood-vine has trespassed the garden shed,
Lilies have drooped their angel-white heads.
A placid agreement is in the evening breeze,
Shivers and shifts the Acer tree leaves.

The scent of the rose and the lilies combine,
The scent of wisteria and spicy wood-vine.
Pungency, permeating mysterious musk,
Seducing the daylight and sweetening the dusk.

A last dip-and-swoop of a sally of swallows,
A panic of woodpigeon quickly follows.
Shelter-seekers from the incoming-night,
Loud the flutter of their overhead-flight.

Manifest-diaphanous-sensuous-night-air,
Electrical-dancing-night-time-affair,
Delicate-shade-dropping-dark-acrobats,
Free-falling-tight-turning-night-feeding-bats.

On the Eastern rim in bottle-blue skies,
The evening is waiting for Venus to rise,
Above the slender-scalloped-treeline,
Like love she seldom arrives on time.

Arriving to late or arriving too soon,
Unlike her chaste sister Diana, the Moon.
Renewed tonight in her new horned charms,
Still carrying Old Diana in her new horned arms.

There's a pause in the evening's reverie,
From the house my children are calling to me.
Bath-time is over there's stories to be read,
Multiple-kissing’s and tucking’s-in-bed.

I look up at the house and its oblongs of light,
And smile to my-self at the Prospect of Night;
I rise because I know they're all waiting for me,
By Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis's teepee,

There by the shoreline of Lake Gitche Gumee;
By the fire-fly light of Wah-Wah Taysee.
To dream with Hiawatha by the Big-Sea-Water,
Await my two beautiful boys and my darling daughter.

Written in Changi Prison -  Completed March 2019

About this poem

This poem describes the end of a busy Sunday working in the garden, a moment of contemplation before family duties awake the writer from his reverie.

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Written on March 19, 2019

Submitted by timothygoldring53 on April 18, 2023

2:05 min read
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Quick analysis:

Scheme A BCDXX XEFF GGHH IICC JXXX KKLL MMAA NNOO PPDB QQRR XBJJ AABX BECC X
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,250
Words 412
Stanzas 15
Stanza Lengths 1, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1

Tim Goldring

In 2015 aged 63, I was sentenced to 5 years in Changi maximum security prison in Singapore for a financial crime I did not commit. The spartan life of 23 hour a day lock up, no beds and severe censorship. This promoted an inner refection which introduced me to he dimensionally much larger world of poetry. This poem is from a yet unpublished manuscript called "In the Boat of Myself" more…

All Tim Goldring poems | Tim Goldring Books

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