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The Night has a Thousand Eyes -- Francis William Bourdillon

Guest poem sent in by Mallika Chellappa
(Poem #1240) The Night has a Thousand Eyes
 The night has a thousand eyes,
      And the day but one;
 Yet the light of the bright world dies
      With the dying sun.

 The mind has a thousand eyes,
      And the heart but one:
 Yet the light of a whole life dies
       When love is done.
-- Francis William Bourdillon
This poem beautifully expresses the
psyche of someone who could go into a
decline and die of unrequited love.

Although I am not one of those, it
is only thanks to exposure to such poems
that I have developed a measure of
tolerance for people with more sensibility
(a la Jane Austen) than I.


[If anyone has a biography, please do send it in. -- martin]

39 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Kanan Ajmera said...


Attached below is something I found on Francis William Bourdillon. The
Night has a Thousand Eyes' is truly a beautiful poem especially after
Jalaluddin Rumi. Unfortunately I did not find much else in terms of his
biography. One more of his poems that caught my attention was "On the South

A late Victorian English poet from Buddington, Sussex, Francis William
Bourdillon was born on March 22, 1852, educated at Worcester College,
Oxford, and acted as tutor to the Prince and the Princess Christian at
Cumberland Lodge. He published 13 volumes of poems from 1878 to 1921. One
poem of the nearly 500 he wrote secured his fame, "The Night Has a Thousand
Eyes." He also did scholarly editing of poems and chronicles from Old
French. His edition and translation of Aucassin & Nicolette came out in
1887. In 1906 the Bibliographical Society published his study, The Early
Editions of the Roman de la Rose. He died on January 13, 1921.

You may not want to run it but for your reference.
"On the South Downs"

1 Light falls the rain
2 On link and laine,
3After the burning day;
4 And the bright scene,
5 Blue, gold, and green,
6Is blotted out in gray.

7 Not so will part
8 The glowing heart
9With sunny hours gone by;
10 On cliff and hill
11 There lingers still
12A light that cannot die.

13 Like a gold crown
14 Gorse decks the Down,
15All sapphire lies the sea;
16 And incense sweet
17 Springs as our feet
18Tread light the thymy lea.

19 Fade, vision bright!
20 Fall rain, fall night!
21Forget, gray world, thy green!
22 For us, nor thee,
23 Can all days be
24As though this had not been!

GSKqueenema said...

ifirst read this poem in the eveningStandard newspaper in london hmmmmm
dogsyears ago
iloved it so much that i memorised it
iwas then in my 20s, i am not in my 50s
and istill remembered it
iwas afraid id forgotten it
and thought to do a search on it, not knowing/remembering the poet
im glad ifound you, the poem and the poet

<the light of a whole day dies with the setting sun>
is how iremembered it, im glad to see the poem again, but 4give me, was i
wrong after all these years?

puccgo40km said...

The night has a thousand eyes.........

This poem has special meaning for me, My father gave this poem to my mother many years ago. it describes the love between them....
They met on a blind date, after ww2, at a beach party on Long Island.. it was love at first sight for my mother, she knew she would marry, and raise a family, with my father... they were married for 39 yrs, raised five sons, and were true BEST friends....... About a year before my mother died she shared this poem with me, she kept it in her wallet, and showed it to me with a special feeling..... after her death, this poem was my most cherished possesion, until my wallet was stolen.... However, I had read it, with care so many times, the poem is within my mind and heart, although I no longer have the piece of paper it was written on... Matt

Mendacio said...

No doubt you're familiar with the lyrics to the following pop tune which
borrows from Bourdillon's poem.....

Doug Lane
Los Angeles

The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
Ben Weisman / Dottie Wayne / Marilyn Garrett

They say your a run around lover

Though you say it isn't so

But if you put me down for another

I'll know, believe me, I'll know

`Cause the night has a thousand eyes

And a thousand eyes can't help but see

If you aren't true to me

So remember when you tell those little white lies

that the night has a thousand eyes

One of those days your ganna be sorry

`Cause your game I'm ganna play

And you'll find out with out really tryin'

Each time that my kisses stray

That the night has a thousand eyes

And a thousand eyes will see me through

And no matter what I do

I could never disguise all those little white lies

`Cause the night has a thousand eyes

So remember when you tell those little white lies

that the night has a thousand eyes

Pattie said...

This poem is quoted in A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett
Book 13. If you do not know these books they are classified as children's

Anonymous said...

there is no such thing in your comments!!
you are daft!!
insane ...
and son of a nuisance!!!

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