On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!– I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy chance!– In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.
In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.
This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me– A place where none appeared.
Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn, Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!
Upon my flowery breast, Kept wholly for himself alone, There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him, And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
The breeze blew from the turret As I parted his locks; With his gentle hand he wounded my neck And caused all my senses to be suspended.
I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
St John of the Cross, Christian Mystic and Poet. Spain. 16th Century[caption id="attachment_171744" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Vespers, Ostrów Tumski, Wroclaw Poland. Copyright Content Catnip 2016[/caption]
Robert Burns. Poet. Scottish. "Tam O'Shanter'. 1790 [caption id="attachment_171366" align="aligncenter" width="719"] Tam O'Shanter and ice-skating on Lake Menteith in Stirling. Copyright Content Catnip 2015[/caption]
When chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet; As market days are wearing late, And folk begin to tak the gate, While we sit bousing at the nappy, An' getting fou and unco happy, We think na on the lang Scots miles, The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles, That lie between us and our hame, Where sits our sulky, sullen dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
HibernalFrom Latin hībernālis (“wintry”), from hiems (“winter”), hibernal is term for something that refers to winter. On this, the long, long night of Winter Solistice of the southern hemisphere, the dawns and the gloamings grow ever deeper and more thickly velveteen black. Although this point in time marks the darkest, longest night and from this kernel grows the essence of rebirth, renewal and outward growth.
The Wild HuntOne ancient European pagan myth has a ghostly gathering of faeries, elves or lost souls in wild pursuit of prey during this magical and potent time, led by Odin. Famously depicted in the painting Asgårdsreien (1872) by Peter Nicolai Arbo [caption id="attachment_181790" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Copyright Content Catnip 2015[/caption]