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O gentle Sleep! do they belong to thee,
These twinklings of oblivion? Thou dost love
To sit in meekness, like the brooding Dove,
A Captive never wishing to be free.
This tiresome night, O Sleep! thou art to me
A Fly, that up and down himself doth shove
Upon a fretful rivulet, now above,
Now on the water vex'd with mockery.
I have no pain that calls for patience, no;
Hence am I cross and peevish as a child:
Am pleas’d by fits to have thee for my foe,
Yet ever willing to be reconciled:
gentle Creature ! do not use me so, But once and deeply let me be beguiled.
A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by, One after one; the sound of rain, and bees Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas, Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky; I've thought of all by turns; and still I lie . Sleepless; and soon the small birds melodies . Must hear, first utter'd from my orchard trees; And the first Cuckoo's melancholy cry. Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay, And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth: So do not let me wear to night away: Without Thee what is all the morning's wealth? Come, blessed barrier betwixt day and day, Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!
Fond words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep!
And thou has had thy store of tenderest names;
The very sweetest words that fancy frames
When thankfulness of heart is strong and deep!
Dear bosom Child we call thee, that dost steep
In rich reward all suffering; Balm that tames
All anguish; Saint that evil thoughts and aims.
Takest away, and into souls dost creep,
Like to a breeze from heaven. Shall I alone;
I surely not a man ungently made,
Call thee worst Tyrant by which Flesh is crost?
Perverse, self-will’d to own and to disown,
Mere Slave of them who never for thee pray’d,
Still last to come where thou art wanted most!
With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
Like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed;
Some lying fast at anchor in the road,
Some veering up and down, one knew not why.
A goodly Vessel did I then espy
Come like a Giant from a haven broad;
And lustily along the Bay she strode,
Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.
This Ship was nought to me, nor I to her,
Yet I pursued her with a Lover's look;
This Ship to all the rest did I prefer:
When will she turn, and whither? She will brook
No tarrying; where she comes the winds must stir:
On went She, and due north her journey took.
O mountain Stream! the Shepherd and his Cot
Are privileg'd Inmates of deep solitude :
Nor would the nicest Anchorite exclude
A Field or two of brighter green, or Plot
Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot
Of stationary sunshine : thou hast view'd
These only, Duddon! with their paths renew'd
By fits and starts, yet this contents thee not.
Thee hath some awful Spirit impellid to leave,
Utterly to desert, the haunts of men,
Though simple thy Companions were and few;
And though this wilderness a passage cleave
Attended but by thy own Voice, save when
The Clouds and Fowls of the air thy way pursue.