by Arlo Bates (1850 - 1918)

The jasmine
Language: English 
The soft, warm night wind flutters 
Up from the dim lagoon, 
While the timorous shadows hide them 
From the red new-risen moon ; 
The scent of the jasmine lingers 
Like a languorous pain divine, 
Till the night-moth reels in its fragrance, 
Drunken as if with wine. 
Oh, jasmine fair; 
Oh, southern night most rare ! 

The warm air beats with passion 
As some hot bosom throbs, 
While an amorous night-bird murmurs, 
As its bliss found vent in sobs ; 
The breath of the jasmine pulses, 
It comes and goes on the wind ; 
Could one climb o'er its lattice 
What bliss might he not find ! 
Oh, jasmine blest ; 
What dreams of cradled rest ! 

A spark from the casement flickers, 
And touches the jasmine's bloom, 
Till the blossoms glow like star gems 
As they gleam in the fragrant gloom. 
I know not what breath from their chalice 
Has 'stirred my soul like wine, 
Till I reel like the drunken night-moth 
With love's keen pain divine. 
Oh, jasmine sweet, 
Why speeds the night so fleet? 


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-06-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:15
Line count: 30
Word count: 176