And Trust the Night

I have said to the moon, ``Sail on.'' I will let trees whisper endlessly, and set

my pane against the dark as light

goes out around my lifted hand. May night

be charitable to all things out

in it - small things that run about

to water or tufts of grass where

generally they do not dare

to go.

What do I know

of night - what it intends?

Is it beneficent? So much depends

on how it handles shadows, wind, the cold.

I watch it full of tossing leaves and bold

stars, and old

paths, and what else will come

to be vulnerable and venturesome

when I have dimmed my lamp and closed my eyes.

I think, ``Be good! Be kind! If you cannot, be wise!''

And turn the switch of the lamp upon the shelf

and trust the night, and leave it to itself.

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