- Nathaniel Hawthorne
How different it is in the city! It is late, and the crowd is gone. You step out upon the balcony, and lie in the very bosom of the cool, dewy night as if you folded her garments about you. Beneath lies the public walk with trees, like a fathomless, black gulf, into whose silent darkness the spirit plunges, and floats away with some beloved spirit clasped in its embrace.
The lamps are still burning up and down the long street. People go by with grotesque shadows, now foreshortened, and now lengthening away into the darkness and vanishing, while a new one springs up behind the walker, and seems to pass him revolving like the sail of a windmill.
The iron gates of the park shut with a jangling clang. There are footsteps and loud voices; - a tumult; - a drunken brawl;- an alarm of fire; - then silence again.
And now at length the city is asleep, and we can see the night. The belated moon looks over the roofs, and finds no one to welcome her. The moonlight is broken. It lies here and there in the squares, and the opening of the streets -angular like blocks of white marble.