A Song at Midnight

The night-jar's gentle call of weeping calms

And soothes the lonely listener's racing mind

Robbed of the gift of sleep by thoughts inclined

To solve all daytime ills and niggling qualms

That come in midnight's tantalising arms,

When all the household rest with dreams, entwined

With yesterday's full happiness, refined

In the joys of sleep's own blissful balms.


The sadness rings perpetual from the trees

Outside the curtained windows of the night,

And stills the mind's anxieties and fears

With quiet contemplation by degrees

Of him who gives the bird its song to light

The hours o£ darkness with a hymn of tears.



October 1975