Night charm

And so it is and so it goes and so
The day goes down and down now goes the day.
And when the day goes down where does it go
To watch and wait, and will I find the way?
And this is this and that is that and there
The night comes in and in now comes the night;
And who is who and what is what and where
Are we in all of this? No sound, no sight.
But step by step and by and by it brings
A dream of then and now and yet to be;
And in that moment, suddenly all things
Are seen and comprehended perfectly.
And thus it ends and ends now thus my rhyme
Upon the brink of sleep, and edge of time.


And so, the time for sleep rolls round at last:
The day done, all complete. Come, friendly Night –
Let hearts find rest, and day-bound dreams take flight.

It’s late. The midnight hour’s already passed.
Lay books and pen aside, put out the light.
And so, the time for sleep rolls round at last.

Days seem unending, yet they fly too fast.
In silent stillness we may find respite.
No more to say now, no words left to write.
And so, the time for sleep rolls round at last.


Yet another venerable and hitherto-untried form – the Chaucerian rondel (I kid you not): just the two rhymes, plus a refrain line (A), giving a rhyme scheme Abb abA abbA. Simple, but fun. N.


By day, I do not see them. No; they wait
Till midnight’s passed and silence lies like snow
Then come for me, on black, slow-beating wings
Like hunting birds. Yet there’s no bird that sings
Out in the wood with their look in his eye,
Or power to snatch me from my dreams to lie
In this suspended, caught-between-worlds state.

What thoughts are these that haunt the bounds between
Sweet rest and wakefulness? For even though
I run to distant hills or silver shore
They always track me down. No bolted door
Can keep them out, no wine or whiskey keep
Their calls from creeping through the veils of sleep
With warning tales of things unknown, unseen.

The work I’ve left undone, have yet to do;
How much I’ve earned and spent, how much I owe,
The threat of great events in distant lands,
The sense that time is running through my hands,
My rattling car. The aching in my knee.
My tiny pension pot. And suddenly
The night birds are assembling, right on cue.

Too long they’ve had their way. Their time is done.
I will rise up, rebel and overthrow
This tyranny. They feed upon my fears –
And I have fed them richly down the years –
But they will get no more from me. I’ll fight,
For action is the cure – take back the night,
And sleep till gently shaken by the sun.