The City of Dreadful Night

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The City of Dreadful Night is a long poem by James Thomson (1834—1882), which first appeared in instalments in Charles Bradlaugh's periodical the National Reformer in 1874. Running to 214 stanzas of varying forms, in 21 sections and a proem, it is a powerful and vivid allegory, or series of linked allegories, of depression, and reflects the author's own experience. It was his main and most successful poem.

Rudyard Kipling used the phrase "The City of Dreadful Night" as the title of a short story, putting it in inverted commas.[1] This is basically a description of the city of Lahore during an oppressively hot night in August.


  1. Printed in Life's Handicap 1891