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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Night & Evening

[T]he longest day at last bends down to evening... ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Travels: or, The Renunciants, 1821, translated from the German by Thomas Carlyle, 1824

In day-time we investigate, but at night believe. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation V: A Journey by Night," 1850  [Edith speaking —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

It was a night so beautiful that your soul seemed hardly able to bear the prison of the body. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919

The iron tongue of Time has told the surrounding darkness that midnight is upon the earth. I am in my room alone. A burning taper is before me, but its light is too feeble to affect the distant objects.... I turn my face from the light, and looking into some dark corner, my mind is led to wander in that mysterious world created by the genius of Dante. Soon, this little taper will flicker in the socket, and leave behind it a world of gloom.—Is it not so with life? ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

It is as though night set free the soul and taught its independence of physical organization. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation V: A Journey by Night," 1850  [Edith speaking —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Night is a world lit by itself. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Research is the name given the crystal formed when the night's worry is added to the day's sweat. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Midnight: The Pole of the hours; a pincushion on which sparkle all the seconds of a day. ~Elbert Hubbard

The Daily Tasks may seem imprisoning Bars;
But every Night your Thoughts may range the Stars.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Stars," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

      For most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?"
      I remember a summer night when such a thought came to me strongly. It was a clear night without a moon. With a friend, I went out on a flat headland that is almost a tiny island, being all but surrounded by the waters of the bay. There the horizons are remote and distant rims on the edge of space. We lay and looked up at the sky and the millions of stars that blazed in darkness.... I have never seen them more beautiful: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. Once or twice a meteor burned its way into the earth's atmosphere.
      It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century or even once in a human generation, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night perhaps they will never see it. ~Rachel Carson, "Help Your Child to Wonder," November 1956

If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these preachers of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Egg and The Eye," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Mad-Eye Moody

...Nature's self is hush'd,
And, but a scatter'd leaf, which rustles thro'
The tick-wove foliage, not a sound is heard
To break the midnight air; tho' the rais'd ear,
Intensely listening, drinks in every breath.
How deep the silence, yet how loud the praise!
But are they silent all? or is there not
A Tongue in every star that talks with man,
And wooes him to be wise? nor wooes in vain:
This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.
~Anna Lætitia Aikin, "A Summer Evening's Meditation"

At this still hour the self-collected soul
Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there
Of high descent, and more than mortal rank;
An embryo God; a spark of fire divine,
Which must burn on for ages, when the sun
(Fair transitory creature of a day!)
Has clos'd his golden eye, and wrapt in shades
Forgets his wonted journey thro' the east.
~Anna Lætitia Aikin, "A Summer Evening's Meditation"

The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows. ~Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Reverie, 1960

Dusk makes gargoyles of the shadows... ~R. D. Lawrence, The Place in the Forest, 1967

It was their old friend the night, whom they knew well and loved, night with her arms all wet, like a washerwoman, night bespattered with sparkling dust, carrying the moon. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939

A little pause in life, while daylight lingers
Between the sunset and the pale moonrise,
When daily labor slips from weary fingers,
And soft grey shadows veil the aching eyes.
~Sarah Doudney, "Between the Lights," c.1875

The light is out—I am now seated at my window, gazing upon the city. There is such a calm in the heavens and upon the earth, I almost fear the world will never wake again.... What an impressive sight! a slumbering city. The beating of its mighty heart has ceased. Filled as it is with the power of man, it is now as helpless as an infant on its mother's breast. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

Night is filled with our loudest fears and a silent courage. ~Terri Guillemets

      [A]nother clock flings its heavy clang over the slumbering town, with so full and distinct a sound.... You count the strokes — one — two, and there they cease....
      If you could choose an hour of wakefulness out of the whole night, it would be this. Since your sober bedtime, at eleven, you have had rest enough to take off the pressure of yesterday's fatigue; while before you, till the sun comes... to brighten your window, there is almost the space of a summer night; one hour to be spent in thought, with the mind's eye half shut, and two in pleasant dreams, and two in that strangest of enjoyments, the forgetfulness alike of joy and woe.... Yesterday has already vanished among the shadows of the past; to‑morrow has not yet emerged from the future. You have found an intermediate space, where the business of life does not intrude; where the passing moment lingers, and becomes truly the present; a spot where Father Time, when he thinks nobody is watching him, sits down by the way side to take breath. Oh, that he would fall asleep, and let mortals live on without growing older!
      ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Haunted Mind," 1835

You sleep; but I am left awake
And watch against the dews of dawn.
O night, move gently for her sake!
O stars, draw softly on
Against the dawn!
~John Robinson Jeffers, "The Night"

Under every full moon a new day is being born. ~James Darren Hicks, @darrenhicks, July 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden,

Under every full moon the dew is sweet, love is fresh, peace is life. ~James Darren Hicks, @darrenhicks, July 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden,

Tomorrow will come
They'll go back to their chore...
But tonight they've forgotten
their feet are so sore.
And that's what the wonderful
night time is for.
~Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, 1962

The objects which in day familiar seem
Like spectral shadows stand before us now,
More large and gaunt the moonlit forests gleam,
More steep and distant hangs the mountain's brow.
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), "Moonlight," 1846

      One of the reasons I like the very late night and very early morning hours is that they are quieter. The sounds of civilization dwindle to an almost inaudible hum.... This is the best time for writing or thinking. Even when I have been awake for most of the day and should, by all normal measures, be physically and mentally exhausted, my brain seems energized by the relative quiet.
      It is, in fact, something of a mystery to me that I can think at all straight in noisy places. Perhaps my belief that I do is an illusion; I may be thinking straight only in comparison to everyone else who is trying to think in the midst of distracting din. Perhaps, too, the world is as crazy as it is – and becoming crazier – because we are attempting to use our brains in a noisy world that is becoming noisier. It is something to ponder, in the relative quiet of the hours between midnight and first light. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," "In Search of Quiet," June 2005,

I was walking in the night
And I saw nothing scary,
For I have never been afraid
Of anything. Not very.
~Dr. Seuss, "What was I Scared of?," Sneetches and Other Stories, 1961

How magnificent the city is by the June moonlight! — after the streets are empty and silent. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)

Turn the lamp down low and draw the curtain wide,
So the greyness of the starlight bathes the room;
Let us see the giant face of night outside...
~Æ (George William Russell), "Prayer," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894

While midnight oil was consumed, the lamp of life was being exhausted when it should have been being replenished.... To retire at 9 o'clock—once the old-fashioned hour for grown folks—is now too early for children, even. Society calls us away from home just when we most need its quiet. We dress for parties just when we should "wrap the drapery of our couch about us and lie down to pleasant dreams." If our friends are worthy of our attention, let us give them our best thoughts, our sane moments—not the products of a brain exhausted by the labors of the day and then exhilarated by the dissipation of the night....
      "Late sitting up has turned her roses white;
      Why went she not to bed?—because 'twas night."
~Rachel Brooks Gleason, M.D. (1820—1905), "Sleep," Elmira Water Cure, November 1867

Night lies beside me
Chaste and cold as a sharp sword.
It and I alone.
~Amy Lowell

Fooey! The porchlight is burnt out, and I can't see whether it's dark outside or not. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2008 December 20th

Out of the wood of thoughts that grows by night
To be cut down by the sharp axe of light,—
~Edward Thomas (1878-1917), "Cock-crow"

Sometimes the middle of the night lies to us. ~The Essex Serpent, "Falling," 2022, written by Jess Brittain, based on the novel by Sarah Perry  [S1, E3 —tg]

Conscience is often busy in the night-time when the external business of the day prevented her work and claims from being attended to. We go about the world in the day time, we see pleasant companions, we are absorbed in earthly schemes, the things of sense are around us, the world is as bright as a rainbow, and it bears for us no marks or predications of the judgment of our sins, and it holds no conversation with us on those subjects, and conscience is retired, as it were, within a far inner circle of the soul. But when it comes night, and the streets are empty, and the lights are out, and the business and dancing and gayety are over, and the pall of sleep is drawn over the senses, and reason and the will are no longer on the watch, then conscience comes out solemnly, and walks about in the silent chambers of the soul, and makes her survey and her comments, and sometimes sits down and sternly reads the record of a life that the waking man would never look into, and the catalogue of crimes that are gathering for the judgment. And as conscience reads and reads aloud, and soliloquizes, you may hear the still deep echo of her voice reverberated through the soul's most secret unveiled recesses. Imagination walks tremblingly behind her. ~George B. Cheever, "Christian in the House of the Interpreter," Lectures on the Pilgrim's Progress, 1839

By day the energies of our being are turned into artificial channels; by night our thoughts follow the bent that is most natural to them. ~George B. Cheever, "Christian in the House of the Interpreter," Lectures on the Pilgrim's Progress, 1839

Over and over
      I tell the sky:
      I am free — I!
Over and over I tell the sea:
      — I am free!
Over and over I tell my lover
      I am free, free!
Over and over.
But when the night comes black and cold,
I who am young, with fear grow old;
And I know, when the world is clear of sound,
I am bound — bound —
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Free," Youth Riding, 1919

[T]ake a sitting-bath of one minute's duration... in the night after the first sleep, such a simple application will likewise have a wholesome effect. If you are very poor and have no bathing-tub, I advise you to walk with bare feet in the evening, say from 5 to 15 minutes, on a cold floor or wet stones. You will thus draw much fatigue out of the body; the blood will be conducted from the head and upper part of the body into the feet; the head will be relieved and your whole temper will become more cheerful. ~Sebastian Kneipp, Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, 1889, translated from the 19th German edition

With a single candle, night burns into infinity. ~Terri Guillemets

There is something in the nature of silence which affects me deeply. Why it is I know not; but I do know that I love to be alone at such an hour as this. I love to forget the outward world and hold communion with the beings of the mind. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

...the long clock-ticking night... ~Damon Knight, The Man in the Tree, 1984

And night doth nightly make grief's strength seem stronger. ~William Shakespeare

The night goes dark, and we see ourselves in our own light. ~Terri Guillemets, "Alone in mid-night," 2003

All of a sudden, the dull truce of twilight fell on them... ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939

'Tis evening, and the round red sun sinks slowly in the west,
The flowers fold their petals up, the birds fly to their nest,
The crickets chirrup in the grass, the bats flit to and fro...
~G.T. Lanigan, "Millionaire and Barefoot Boy," c.1883

Midnight — the luller
Midnight — the advisor
Midnight — the fabulist
~Terri Guillemets, "Alone in mid-night," 2003

At midnight tears
Run into your ears
~Louise Bogan (1897–1970), "Solitary Observation Brought Back from a Sojourn in Hell," Poems and New Poems, 1941

When the breath of twilight blows to flame the misty skies,
All its vapours sapphire, violet glow and silver gleam,
With their magic flood me through the gateway of the eyes;
      I am one with the twilight's dream.
When the trees and skies and fields are one in dusky mood,
Every heart of man is rapt within the mother's breast:
Full of peace and sleep and dreams in the vasty quietude,
      I am one with their hearts at rest...
~Æ (George William Russell), "By the Margin of the Great Deep," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894

The veil concealing truth gets windswept in the wee hours, revealing all to the silence of the night. ~Terri Guillemets

A violet dusk slowly deepens, while bits of Tomorrow start sticking to the last pieces of Today. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2015 tweet,

O, pleasant is the dewy morn!
And golden noon is fair to see;
But sweeter far the closing day;
Dearer the twilight hour to me.
~Mary Ann H. Dodd Shutts (1813–1878), "Twilight"

[T]o-night... it is cool and quiet, and I can forget the toil and care of the feverish day... ~Emily Dickinson, 1851

The night was clear and frosty, all ebony of shadow and silver of snowy slope; big stars were shining over the silent fields; here and there the dark pointed firs stood up with snow powdering their branches and the wind whistling through them. ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Night is the mother of Councels. ~George Herbert

...I thought I would step out into the cool night-air.... It was a glorious night. The moon had sunk and left the quiet earth alone with the stars.... They awe us, these strange stars, so cold, so clear.... [I]t seems so full of comfort and of strength, the night. In its great presence, our small sorrows creep away, ashamed. The day has been so full of fret and care, and our hearts have been so full of evil and of bitter thoughts, and the world has seemed so hard and wrong to us. Then Night, like some great loving mother, gently lays her hand upon our fevered head, and turns our little tear-stained faces up to hers, and smiles; and, though she does not speak, we know what she would say, and lay our hot flushed cheek against her bosom, and the pain is gone. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889

Night's heart is full of pity for us: she cannot ease our aching; she takes our hand in hers, and the little world grows very small and very far away beneath us, and, borne on her dark wings, we pass for a moment into a mightier Presence than her own, and in the wondrous light of that great Presence, all human life lies like a book before us, and we know that Pain and Sorrow are but the angels of God. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889

Night introduces your own bare soul to you. ~Terri Guillemets, "Alone in mid-night," 2003

The moon was caught in the branches...
Naked against the night
The trees slept...
~Dag Hammarskjöld, 1960, translated from the Swedish by Leif Sjöberg and W. H. Auden, Markings, 1964

Under every full moon, memories stir of the dreamers we were. ~Robert Brault,, July 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

A pot of wine in the flower garden,
but no friends drink with me.
So I raise my cup to the bright moon
and to my shadow, which makes us three,
but the moon won't drink
and my shadow just creeps about my heels...
~Li Bai (701–762), "Drinking Alone by Moonlight"

I rise and turn back.... leaving the rest of the world to coyotes who are now running across the mountain together, howling and yipping behind me, calling for the frozen night to come. ~Craig Childs, The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. ~George Carlin, Brain Droppings, 1997

A wolf howls his soul into the misty night. The moon answers with glowing silence. ~Terri Guillemets

It was a lovely evening. Night was out hunting on her black steed, and the long cloud mane fluttered on the wind. I stood at my window watching the moon. Is there really a "man in the moon?"... When I was little they told me that the moon was a fruit, and that when it was ripe, it was picked and laid away, amid a vast collection of old full moons, in a great bureau, which stood at the end of the world, where it is nailed up with boards. ~Heinrich Heine, "The Hartz Journey" (1824), Pictures of Travel, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, 1855

And from my heart poured out the feeling of love;—it poured forth with wild longing into the broad night. The flowers in the garden beneath my window breathed a stronger perfume. Perfumes are the feelings of flowers, and as the human heart feels most powerful emotions in the night, when it believes itself to be alone and unperceived, so also do the flowers, soft-minded, yet ashamed, appear to await for concealing darkness, that they may give themselves wholly up to their feelings, and breathe them out in sweet odours. ~Heinrich Heine, "The Hartz Journey" (1824), Pictures of Travel, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, 1855

When everything else is still,
Night itself makes noises.
You wouldn't think it could,
But it can, in the middle of the mind.
As if creation sighed,
Turning in its bed;
As if minutest thinkings
Ran lengthwise, like veins...
~Mark Van Doren (1894–1972), "When Everything Else Is Still," Good Morning: Last Poems by Mark Van Doren, 1973  [a book of poems written during the final three years of his life —tg]

If you are going to soar with the eagles in the morning, you can't hoot with the owls all night. ~Author unknown, as quoted in Rewarding Moments: A Treasury of Prose and Poetry, compiled by William Arthur Ward, 1989

Sometimes on lonely nights the man in the moon is my best friend. ~Terri Guillemets

By day each soul must walk within its shadow.
Only night can make us whole again...
~Nicholas Gordon,

At nightfall, colors disappear. Moon's paintbrush has only a palette of shadows: creamy gray, inky black, illusive indigo. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2013 tweet,

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn
As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
~William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, c.1595  [V, 1, Theseus]

A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man woke in the night. ~J.M. Barrie, The Little Minister, 1891

A frenzied day
languidly calms itself,
becoming dusk.
~Dr. SunWolf, 2014 tweet,

Dawn seemed to follow midnight with indecent haste. ~J.K. Rowling, "Magic is Might," Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 2007

Its edges foamed with amethyst and rose,
Withers once more the old blue flower of day:
There where the ether like a diamond glows
      Its petals fade away.
A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air;
Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows;
The great deep thrills for through it everywhere
      The breath of Beauty blows.
I saw how all the trembling ages past,
Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath,
Neared to the hour when Beauty breathes her last
      And knows herself in death.
~Æ (George William Russell), "The Great Breath," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894

[T]he sun moves far too slowly, I would fain lash on his steeds that they might advance more rapidly.—But when he sinks hissing in the sea, and the night rises with her great eyes, oh! then true pleasure first thrills through me like a new life, the evening breezes lie like flattering maidens on my wild heart, and the stars wink to me, and I rise and sweep over the little earth and the little thoughts of mankind. ~Heinrich Heine, "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855

The night is dark and velvety,
All Nature seems asleep;
The moon has covered, well, her face,
As if in sorrow, deep.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Prayer of the Moon," 1940s

We wake in the night, to stereophonic silence. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

— the quiet of solitude
— the silence of loneliness
~Terri Guillemets

For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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