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It’s back……. I figure the new year was a time to revisit some old favorites.

Longfellow (1807-1882) spans the adolescence of America and his work has that vigor, the pulsing rhyme that allows a reader to be swept up whether with Paul Revere or Hiawatha. Imagine tonight’s poem copied out in fat, handwritten loops, the “i’s” dotted with puffy hearts — locked in a young girl’s diary and read over and over again….. not that I am confessing anything. 🙂

Hymn to the Night by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o’er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet’s rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there,–
From those deep cisterns flows.

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.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-beloved Night!

night songs: ‘Round Midnight (try Andy Summers’ version, it will blow you away); Stars Fell on Alabama (Jimmy Buffett makes this classic his own); Linger for Awhile (Dan Zanes); Angel Tonight (Leigh Nash); The Girl for Me Tonight (Peter Cincotti); Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Queen Latifah may well be an heir to Queen Aretha); Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes (Perry Como); Stars (from Les Miserables); Goodnight, my Someone (from Music Man); Goodnight Rose (Ryan Adams); Midnight Sun (Diana Krall); Until the Night (Billy Joel); Blues in the Night (Dr. John is amazing); Night Life (Little Willies); Don’t Say Goodnight (Natalie Cole); In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins); Teach Me Tonight (Dinah Washington); Your Song (Elton John version where he duets with Ronan Keating is just too good, also Ewan McGregor’s cover from Moulin Rouge is surprisingly touching); and Walking After Midnight (Patsy Cline).

I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can play together at night. –> Hobbes, from Calvin & Hobbes

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