Night has fallen over the country.
Through the trees rises the red moon and the stars are scarcely seen.
In the vast shadow of night, the coolness and the dews descend.
I sit at the open window to enjoy them; and hear only the voice of the summer wind.
Like black hulks, the shadows of the great trees ride at anchor on the billowy sea of grass.
I cannot see the red and blue flowers, but I know that they are there.
Far away in the meadow gleams the silver Charles.
The tramp of horses' hoofs sounds from the wooden bridge.
Then all is still save the continuous wind or the sound of the neighboring sea.
The village clock strikes; and I feel that I am not alone.
How different it is in the city!
It is late, and the crowd is gone.
You step out upon the balcony, and lie in the very bosom of the cool,
dewy night as if you folded her garments about you.
Beneath lies the public walk with trees, like a fathomless, black gulf.
The lamps are still burning up and down the long street.
People go by with grotesque shadows, now foreshortened,
and now lengthening away into the darkness and vanishing,
while a new one springs up behind the walker,
and seems to pass him revolving like the sail of a windmill.
The iron gates of the park shut with a jangling clang.
There are footsteps and loud voices; —a tumult; —a drunken brawl; —an alarm of fire; —then silence again.
And now at length the city is asleep, and we can see the night.
The belated moon looks over the roofs, and finds no one to welcome her.
The moonlight is broken.
It lies here and there in the squares and the opening of the streets
—angular like blocks of white marble.