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(1748-1788 / Scotland)

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Ode to Sleep

In vain I court till dawning light,
The coy divinity of night;
Restless, from side to side I turn,
Arise, ye musings of the morn!

Oh, sleep! though banish'd from those eyes
In vision's fair to Delia rise;
And o'er a dearer form diffuse
Thy healing balm, thy lenient dews.

Bless'd be her night as infant's rest,
Lull'd on the fond maternal breast,
Who, sweetly-playful smiles in sleep,
Nor knows that he is born to weep.

Remove the terrors of the night,
The phantom forms of wild affright,
The shrieks from precipice or flood,
And starting scene that swims with blood.

Lead her aloft to blooming bowers,
And beds of amaranthine flowers,
And golden skies, and glittering streams,
That paint the paradise of dreams.

Venus! present a lover near,
And gently whisper in her ear
His woes, who, lonely and forlorn,
Counts the slow clock from night till morn.

Ah! let no portion of my pain,
Save just a tender trace, remain;
Asleep consenting to be kind,
And wake with Daphnis in her mind.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010


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