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Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1405

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


In these tropic latitudes Night does not seem "to fall,"-to descend over the many-peaked land: it appears to rise up, like an exhalation, from the ground. The coast-lines darken first;-then the slopes and the lower hills and valleys become shadowed;-then, very swiftly, the gloom mounts to the heights, whose very loftiest peak may remain glowing like a volcano at its tip for several minutes after the rest of the island is veiled in blackness and all the stars are out....

... Tropical nights have a splendor that seems strange to northern eyes. The sky does not look so high-so far way as in the North; but the stars are larger, and the luminosity greater.

With the rising of the moon all the

violet of the sky flushes;-there is almost such a rose-color as heralds northern dawn.

Then the moon appears over the mornes, very large, very bright-brighter certainly than many a befogged sun one sees in northern Novembers; and it seems to have a weird magnetism-this tropical moon. Night-birds, insects, frogs,-everything that can sing,-all sing very low on the nights of great moons. Tropical wood-life begins with dark: in the immense white light of a full moon this nocturnal life seems afraid to cry out as usual. Also, this moon has a singular effect on the nerves. It is very difficult to sleep on such bright nights: you feel such a vague uneasiness as the coming of a great storm gives....

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