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"The night has a thousand eyes."
- John Lyly
"When stars are in the quiet skies,
Then most I pine for thee;
Bend on me, then, thy tender eyes,
As stars look on the sea."
- Baron E. G. Bulwer-Lytton, 1803 - 1873
"And from the phlox and mignonette
Rich attars drift on every hand;
And when star-vestured twilight comes
The pale moths weave a saraband.
And crickets in the aisles of grass
With their clear fifing pierce the hush;
And somewhere you many hear anear
The passion of the hermit thrush."
- Clinton Scollard, A Midsummer Garden
"Abide with me; fast falls the
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me."
- Henry Francis Lyte, 1793 - 1847
"Lovely are the curves of the white
Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star.
Lone on the fir-branch, his rattle-note unvaried,
Brooding o'er the gloom, spins the brown eve-jar."
- George Meredith, 1828 - 1909
"The plum tree, dwindling, contains
less of the spring;
But the garden is wider, and holds more of the moon."
- Zen Saying, Soul of the Garden
"The harvest moon has no innocence,
like the slim quarter moon of a spring twilight, nor has it the silver penny brilliance of the moon that looks down upon the resorts of summer time. Wise, ripe, and portly, like an old Bacchus, it waxes night after night."
- Donald Culross Peattie
"Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream."
- Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within a Dream
"The dews of summer night did fall,
The moon, sweet regent of the sky,
Silver'd the walls of Cumnor Hall,
And many an oak that grew nearby."
- William J. Mickle, 1735 - 1788
"Today I walked on the
with only cypresses for company,
until the sunset caught me, turned the brush
set the clouds
to one great roof of flame
above the earth,
so that I walk through fire, beneath fire,
and all in beauty.
I could not be alone, but felt
(closer than flesh) the presence of those
who once had burned in such transfigurations.
My happiness ran through the centuries
in one continual brightness. Looking down,
I saw the earth beneath me like a rose
petaled with mountains,
fragrant with deep peace."
- Elizabeth Coatsworth, On the Hills, 1924
"The flowers that keep
Their odor to themselves all day;
But when the sunlight dies away,
Let the delicious secret out
To every breeze that roams about."
"I don't know what you could say about
a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets."
- John Glenn
"A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies."
- Amy Lowell, The Garden by Moonlight
"Our limitations serve, our wounds
serve, even our darkness can serve."
- Rachel Naomi Remen
"Not till the fire is dying in the
Look we for any kinship with the stars."
- George Meredith, 1828 - 1909
the dark side silhouetted
on flashes of moonlight!"
- William Carlos Williams, Night
"All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirred
To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, Maud
"A day without sunshine is like, you
Come to my hut -
The crickets will
Serenade you, and I will
Introduce you to the moonlit woods."
- Ryokan, Taigu, 1758-1831
It is always darkest before it gets pitch black.
"Plants that wake when others sleep. Timid jasmine buds that keep their fragrance to themselves all day, but when the sunlight dies away let the delicious secret out to every breeze that roams about."
- Thomas Moore
"Colors change; in the morning light,
red shines out bright and clearand the blues merge into their surroundings, melting into the greens; but by evening the reds loose their piquancy, embracing a quieter tone and shifting toward the blues in the rainbow. Yellow flowers remain bright, and white ones become luminous, shining like ghostly figures against a darkening green background."
- Rosemary Verey, The Scented Garden, 1981
"When it is dark enough, you can see
- Charles A. Beard
"This dead of midnight is the noon of
And Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars."
- Mrs. Barbauld. 1743-1825, A Summer's Evening Meditation
to go through
- Michael McClintock
"Just as the moon only reflects its
light in a pool,
So the mind, empty and unattached,
Does not know itself and the outside world
As two things."
- The Gospel According To Zen
"It was a marvelous night, the sort of
night one only experiences
when one is young. The sky was so bright, and there were so many stars that, gazing upward, one couldn't help wondering how so many whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky. This too is a question that would only occur to the
young, to the very young; but may God make you wonder like that as often as possible!"
- Dostoevsky, White Nights
"The sky puts on the
darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;
and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion
of what becomes a star each night, and rises;
and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable
it is alternately stone in you and star."
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Evening
Months and Seasons
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"All through the deep blue night
The fountain sang alone;
It sang to the drowsy heart
of the satyr carved in stone.
The fountain sang and sang
But the satyr never stirred--
Only the great white moon
In the empty heaven heard."
- Sara Teasdale, The Fountain
"It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task."
"We had a sunset of a very fine sort. The vast plain of the sea was marked off in bands of sharply-contrasted colors: great stretches of dark blue, others of purple, others of polished bronze; the billowy mountains showed all sorts of dainty browns and greens, blues and purples and blacks, and the rounded velvety backs of certain of them made one want to stroke them, as one would the sleek back of a cat."
- Mark Twain
"How much more beautiful is the moon,
Slanting down the gauffered branches of a plum-tree;
Wavering across a bed of tulips;
Upon your face.
You shine, Beloved,
You and the moon.
But which is the reflection?"
- Amy Lowell, Interlude
"It is a good idea to be alone in a
garden at dawn or dark so that all it's shy presences may haunt
you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought."
- James Douglas
"I often think that the night is
more alive and more richly colored than the day."
- Vincent Van Gogh
"A sensitive plant in a garden
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant, 1820
"All growth is a leap in the
dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act
without benefit of experience."
- Henry Miller
"So we down-to-earth, gutsy,
tough, realistic, and practical types have just been squandering billions of dollars and unimaginable amounts of energy, nerve-work, and materials in whizzing off to the moon to discover, as astronomers knew before, that it was just a dreary slag heap. This is the true, original and scientifically etymological meaning of being lunatics. Crying for the moon."
- Alan Watts, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown, 1968
The Spirit of Gardening
Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
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From January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2010 from the Spirit of Gardening Website.
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
Last modified or updated on October 20, 2012
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