O Sacred Night!

From Astronomy for Amateurs, by Camille Flammarion (1910).

O Night, mysterious, sublime, and infinite! withdrawing from our eyes the veil spread above us by the light of day, giving back transparency to the Heavens, showing us the prodigious reality, the shining casket of the celestial diamonds, the innumerable stars that succeed each other interminably in immeasurable space! Without Night we should know nothing. Without it our eyes would never have divined the sidereal population, our intellects would never have pierced the harmony of the Heavens, and we should have remained the blind, deaf parasites of a world isolated from the rest of the universe. O Sacred Night! If on the one hand it rests upon the heights of Truth beyond the day’s illusions, on the other its invisible urns pour down a silent and tranquil peace, a penetrating calm, upon our souls that weary of Life’s fever. It makes us forget the struggles, perfidies, intrigues, the miseries of the hours of toil and noisy activity, all the conventionalities of civilization. Its domain is that of rest and dreams. We love it for its peace and calm tranquility. We love it because it is true. We love it because it places us in communication with the other worlds, because it gives us the presage of Life, Universal and Eternal, because it brings us Hope, because it proclaims us citizens of Heaven.