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In The Placid Summer Midnight

William Ernest Henley 1849 (Gloucester) – 1903 (Woking)



In the placid summer midnight,
Under the drowsy sky,
I seem to hear in the stillness
The moths go glimmering by.

One by one from the windows
The lights have all been sped.
Never a blind looks conscious -
The street is asleep in bed!

But I come where a living casement
Laughs luminous and wide;
I hear the song of a piano
Break in a sparkling tide;

And I feel, in the waltz that frolics
And warbles swift and clear,
A sudden sense of shelter
And friendliness and cheer . . .

A sense of tinkling glasses,
Of love and laughter and light -
The piano stops, and the window
Stares blank out into the night.

The blind goes out, and I wander
To the old, unfriendly sea,
The lonelier for the memory
That walks like a ghost with me.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". more…

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