C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


O majestic night! nature’s great ancestor!


Night, when deep sleep falleth on men.


By night an atheist half believes a God.


Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.

Mrs. Barbauld.

Then stars arise, and the night is holy.


The night is long that never finds the day.


The night comes on that knows no morn.


Night is a lively masquerade of day.

J. Montgomery.

There never was night that had no morn.

D. M. Mulock.

Even lust and envy sleep.


In the dead vast and middle of the night.


Night’s black Mantle covers all alike.

Du Bartas.

The great shadow and profile of day.


Sable-vested Night, eldest of things!


The crickets sing, and man’s overlabored sense repairs itself by rest.


O mysterious Night! thou art not silent; many tongues hast thou.

Joanna Baillie.

Awful Night! Ancestral mystery of mysteries.

George Eliot.

How absolute and omnipotent is the silence of night!


Mind and night will meet, though in silence, like forbidden lovers.


Night drew her sable curtain down, and pinned it with a star.

Macdonald Clarke.

In her starry shade of dim and solitary loveliness, I learn the language of another world.


  • Night is the Sabbath of mankind,
  • To rest the body and the mind.
  • Butler.

  • There’s husbandry in heaven;
  • Their candles are all out.
  • Shakespeare.

    The night shows stars and women in a better light.


  • O radiant Dark! O darkly fostered ray!
  • Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow Day.
  • George Eliot.

  • I heard the trailing garments of the Night
  • Sweep through her marble halls.
  • Longfellow.

    The day is done, and the darkness falls from the wings of night.


    Come civil night, thou sober-suited matron, all in black.


    As his wife has been given to man as his best half, so night is the half of life, and by far the better part of life.


  • All is gentle; nought
  • Stirs rudely; but congenial with the night,
  • Whatever walks is gliding like a spirit.
  • Byron.

  • I love night more than day—she is so lovely;
  • But I love night the most because she brings
  • My love to me in dreams which scarcely lie.
  • Bailey.

  • Now sunk the sun; the closing hour of day
  • Came onward, mantled o’er with sober grey;
  • Nature in silence bid the world repose.
  • Parnell.

  • When the searching eye of heaven is hid
  • Behind the globe, and lights the lower world,
  • Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen,
  • In murthers and in outrage boldly here.
  • Shakespeare.

  • ’Tis now the very witching time of night
  • When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
  • Contagion to this world.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
  • What man has borne before!
  • Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
  • And they complain no more.
  • Longfellow.

    Now black and deep the night begins to fall, a shade immense; sunk in the quenching gloom, magnificent and vast, are heaven and earth.


  • Night is fair virtue’s immemorial friend;
  • The conscious moon, through every distant age,
  • Has held a lamp to wisdom, and let fall
  • On contemplation’s eye her purging ray.
  • Young.

  • Now began
  • Night with her sullen wing to double-shade
  • The desert; fowls in their clay nests were couch’d,
  • And now wild beasts came forth, the woods to roam.
  • Milton.

    The cripple, tardy-gaited night, who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp so tediously away.


    When pleasure, like the midnight flower that scorns the eye of vulgar light, begins to bloom for sons of night and maids who love the moon.


  • 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.
  • Longfellow.

  • Fair eldest child of love, thou spotless night!
  • Empress of silence, and the queen of sleep;
  • Who, with thy black cheek’s pure complexion,
  • Mak’st lovers’ eyes enamour’d of thy beauty.
  • Marlowe.

    The night is made for tenderness,—so still that the low whisper, scarcely audible, is heard like music,—and so deeply pure that the fond thought is chastened as it springs and on the lip made holy.


    The contemplation of night should lead to elevating rather than to depressing ideas. Who can fix his mind on transitory and earthly things, in presence of those glittering myriads of worlds; and who can dread death or solitude in the midst of this brilliant, animated universe, composed of countless suns and worlds, all full of light and life and motion?


  • Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
  • In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
  • Her leaden sceptre o’er a slumb’ring world.
  • Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
  • Nor eye, nor list’ning ear, an object finds;
  • Creation sleeps. ’Tis as the general pulse
  • Of life stood still, and nature made a pause;
  • An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
  • Young.

  • Night is the time for rest;
  • How sweet, when labours close,
  • To gather round an aching breast
  • The curtain of repose,
  • Stretch the tired limbs, and lay the head
  • Down on our own delightful bed!
  • Montgomery.

    Why does the evening, does the night, put warmer love in our hearts? Is it the nightly pressure of helplessness? or is it the exalting separation from the turmoils of life,—that veiling of the world in which for the soul nothing then remains but souls?


  • How is night’s sable mantle laboured o’er,
  • How richly wrought with attributes divine!
  • What wisdom shines! what love! this midnight pomp,
  • This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid!
  • Built with divine ambition.
  • Young.

  • The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
  • Of the snow-shining mountains—Beautiful!
  • I linger yet with nature, for the night
  • Hath been to me a more familiar face
  • Than that of man; and in her starry shade
  • Of dim and solitary loveliness,
  • I learn’d the language of another world.
  • Byron.

  • O comfort-killing Night, image of hell!
  • Dim register and notary of shame!
  • Black stage for tragedies and murders fell!
  • Vast, sin-concealing chaos! nurse of blame!
  • Blind, muffled bawd! dark harbor for defame!
  • Grim cave of death! whispering conspirator
  • With close-tongued treason and the ravisher!
  • Shakespeare.

  • The crackling embers on the hearth are dead;
  • The indoor note of industry is still;
  • The latch is fast; upon the window-sill
  • The small birds wait not for their daily bread;
  • The voiceless flowers—how quietly they shed
  • Their nightly odours;—and the household rill
  • Murmurs continuous dulcet sounds that fill
  • The vacant expectation, and the dread
  • Of listening night.
  • Hartley Coleridge.

  • Dark the Night, with breath all flowers,
  • And tender broken voice that fills
  • With ravishment the listening hours,—
  • Whisperings, wooings,
  • Liquid ripples, and soft ring-dove cooings
  • In low-toned rhythm that love’s aching stills!
  • Dark the night
  • Yet is she bright,
  • For in her dark she brings the mystic star,
  • Trembling yet strong, as is the voice of love,
  • From some unknown afar.
  • George Eliot.

    How absolute and omnipotent is the silence of night! And yet the stillness seems almost audible! From all the measureless depths of air around us comes a half-sound, a half-whisper, as if we could hear the crumbling and falling away of earth and all created things, in the great miracle of nature, decay and reproduction, ever beginning, never ending,—the gradual lapse and running of the sand in the great hour-glass of Time.


  • How beautiful is night!
  • A dewy freshness fills the silent air,
  • No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain
  • Breaks the serene heaven:
  • In full-orb’d glory yonder moon divine
  • Rolls through the dark blue depths.
  • Beneath her steady ray
  • The desert circle spreads,
  • Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky,
  • How beautiful is night!
  • Southey.