Hymns To The Night, by German philosopher, author, and poet Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (1772-1801), translated to English from the original German by George MacDonald, 1897.
Must the morning always return? Will the despotism
of the earthly never cease? Unholy
activity consumes the
angel-visit of the Night. Will the time never come when Love's hidden sacrifice shall burn eternally? To the Light a
season was set; but everlasting and boundless is the dominion of the Night. -- Endless is the duration of sleep. Holy
Sleep -- gladden not too seldom in this earthly day-labor, the devoted servant
of the Night. Fools alone mistake thee,
knowing nought of sleep but the shadow
which, in the twilight of the real Night, thou pitifully castest over us. They feel
thee not in the golden flood of the grapes -- in the magic oil of the almond tree -- and the brown juice of the poppy. They
know not that it is thou who hauntest the bosom of the tender maiden
, and makest a heaven of her lap -- never suspect it
is thou, opening the doors to Heaven, that steppest to meet them out of ancient stories, bearing the key to the dwellings
of the blessed, silent messenger
of secrets infinite.