’Tis Night that gently draws her dusky cloak
Round men’s dark deeds, as does a mother screen
The creatures of her bearing. In between
Dull Care keeps watch, while restless souls invoke
The sleep that chary waits on troubled minds.
Now grim marauders make their midnight calls;
The well-worked artisan to slumb’ring falls;
And Fraud, who keeps with Care, her waking finds
The world, by Nature prompted, holds repose,
Attended by the black-gowned nurse who gains
Before the dawn no respite from her pains.
This needful rest the Higher Wisdom shows.
Thus Night to some brings peace, to others care —
Walk wisely, that ye may her blessing share.
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 48
chary = wary, unwilling to take risks, careful, cautious; reluctant to take action so as to avoid possible danger, error, or risk (can also mean: choosy, finicky, particular; frugal, sparing)
slumb’ring = (vernacular) slumbering
’tis = (archaic) a contraction of “it is”
ye = (archaic) you (however, still in use in some places, e.g. in Cornwall, Ireland, Newfoundland, and Northern England; it can used as either the singular or plural form of “you”, although the plural form is apparently the more common usage)