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Ode to Sleep
Thomas Warton


On this my pensive pillow, gentle Sleep!
Descend, in all thy downy plumage drest:
Wipe with thy wing these eyes that wake to weep,
And place thy crown of poppies on my breast.

O steep my senses in oblivion's balm,
And sooth my throbbing pulse with lenient hand;
This tempest of my boiling blood becalm!
Despair grows mild at thy supreme command.

Yet ah! in vain, familiar with the gloom,
And sadly toiling through the tedious night,
I seek sweet slumber, while that virgin bloom,
For ever hovering, haunts my wretched sight.

Nor would the dawning day my sorrows charm:
Black midnight and the blaze of noon alike
To me appear, while with uplifted arm
Death stands prepar'd, but still delays, to strike.

This poem is in the public domain.


Thomas Warton (1728 - 1790) was a British poet who attended Oxford, was a professor of poetry there for many years, and twice served as the school's poet laureate. His talent for poetry revealed itself at an early age and, in fact, the bulk of Warton's poems were written before he was thirty. Partial to sonnets, he is credited with rekindling enthusiasm for that form at a time when both writers and readers had lost interest in it.


Post New Comment:
Quoth the raven, nevermore."
Posted 06/13/2014 05:38 PM
Funny, Ross.
Posted 06/13/2014 09:41 AM
Ross Kightly:
To sleep, perchance to dream... a bit of 'mortal coil' anxiety here! Solution: learn to stay awake....?
Posted 06/13/2014 05:36 AM

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