Ode to Sleep
ON this my pensive pillow
, gentle Sleep
Descend, in all thy downy plumage
Wipe with thy wing
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;
of my boiling blood
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
For ever hovering, haunts my wretched sight.
Nor would the dawning day
my sorrows charm:
Black midnight and the blaze of noon
To me appear, while with uplifted arm
stands prepar'd, but still delays, to strike.
Thomas Warton (1728 - 1790)
English critic; Poet laureate from 1785
see Ode to Music