O Sleep, O Gentle Sleep
O sleep, gentle sleep, Nature’s soft nurse,
How have I frighted thee,
That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest though in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
Than in the chambers and canopies of my heart,
And lulled with the sound of sweetest melody?
O, thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds,
And leavest the kingly uncouched,
High upon the giddy mast?
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the billows by the top,
Curling their heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with hurly, death itself awakes.
Canst though, O, partial sleep,
Give thy repose to the wet sea-boy
In an hour so rude,
Who in the placid and most stillest of nights,
With all passion and means to boot,
Fails to lay down and hush to his slumber?