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Mother Night by James Weldon Johnson | Poets.org

Mother Night
by James Weldon Johnson

Eternities before the first-born day,

Or ere the first sun fledged his wings of flame,

Calm Night, the everlasting and the same,

A brooding mother over chaos lay.

And whirling suns shall blaze and then decay,

Shall run their fiery courses and then claim

The haven of the darkness whence they came;

Back to Nirvanic peace shall grope their way.

 

So when my feeble sun of life burns out,

And sounded is the hour for my long sleep,

I shall, full weary of the feverish light,

Welcome the darkness without fear or doubt,

And heavy-lidded, I shall softly creep

Into the quiet bosom of the Night.

 

 

Today's poem is in the public domain.

About This Poem

Johnson wrote this poem, among others, while stationed in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, where he was then serving as American consul--a position to which he was appointed by Theodore Roosevelt.
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