(Sung, on one night, in the cities, in the darkness.)
Come away! Come away!
Ye are sober and dull through the common day,
But now it is night!
It is shameful night, and God is asleep!
(Have you not felt the quick fires that creep
Through the hungry flesh, and the lust of delight,
And hot secrets of dreams that day cannot say?).
The house is dumb;
The night calls out to you. Come, ah, come!
Down the dim stairs, through the creaking door,
Naked, crawling on hands and feet
It is meet! it is meet!
Ye are men no longer, but less and more,
Beast and God. . . . Down the lampless street,
By little black ways, and secret places,
In the darkness and mire,
Faint laughter around, and evil faces
By the star-glint seen ah! follow with us!
For the darkness whispers a blind desire,
And the fingers of night are amorous.
Keep close as we speed,
Though mad whispers woo you, and hot hands cling,
And the touch and the smell of bare flesh sting,
Soft flank by your flank, and side brushing side
TO-NIGHT never heed!
Unswerving and silent follow with me,
Till the city ends sheer,
And the crook’d lanes open wide,
Out of the voices of night,
Beyond lust and fear,
To the level waters of moonlight,
To the level waters, quiet and clear,
To the black unresting plains of the calling sea.