Midnight is, in most systems, the transition time period from one day to the next: the moment when the date changes. In the Roman time system midnight was halfway between sunset and sunrise, varying according to the seasons. Solar midnight is that time opposite of solar noon, when the sun is closest to nadir and the night is equidistant from dusk and dawn. Due to the advent of time zones, which make time identical across a range of meridians, and daylight saving time, it rarely coincides with midnight on a clock. Solar midnight is dependent on longitude and time of the year rather than on a time zone. In the northern hemisphere, "midnight" had an ancient geographic association with "north" (as did "noon" with "south" -- see noon). Modern Polish and Ukrainian preserve this association with their words for "midnight" ("północ", "північ" -- literally "half-night"), which also means "north".
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 512.
- Is there not
A tongue in every star that talks with man,
And wooes him to be wise? nor wooes in vain;
This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.
- Anna Letitia Barbauld, A Summer Evening's Meditation, line 48.
- That hour o' night's black arch the keystane.
- Robert Burns, Tam o' Shanter.
- It was evening here,
But upon earth the very noon of night.
- Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (early 14th century), Canto XV, line 5.
- I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose over the city,
Behind the dark church tower.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bridge.
- Midnight! the outpost of advancing day!
The frontier town and citadel of night!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Two Rivers, Part I.
- O wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
- James Russell Lowell, Midnight.
- 'Tis midnight now. The bent and broken moon,
Batter'd and black, as from a thousand battles,
Hangs silent on the purple walls of Heaven.
- Joaquin Miller, Ina, scene 2.
- Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour
Friendliest to sleep and silence.
- The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve;
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
- Midnight, yet not a nose
From Tower Hill to Piccadilly snored!
- Horace and James Smith, Rejected Addresses, The Rebuilding (Imitation of Southey).
- Midnight, and yet no eye
Through all the Imperial City closed in sleep.
- Robert Southey, Curse of Kehama, Part I. 1.