1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode to Sleep.

Scots Magazine 23 (May 1761) 263.

Library


This Ode to Sleep, signed "Library," is developed out of the visionary passage in Milton's Il Penseroso: "Come, and with thy blessings crown'd, | Wave thy dewy wand around; | Dipt in HYBLA'S rosy bed, | Wave it o'er my slumb'ring head."



Morpheus, balmy god of sleep,
Softly o'er my senses creep,
Gently steal my heart from care;
Shed, O shed, thy poppies here;
Come, O come, and with thee bring,
Odours dropping from thy wing.
Come, and with thy blessings crown'd,
Wave thy dewy wand around;
Dipt in HYBLA'S rosy bed,
Wave it o'er my slumb'ring head:
Still, as SILENCE, let me lie,
Still, as summer breezes fly.

Softly beat, ye springs of life:
Cease, ah cease your busy strife;
See the silent god descends,
O'er the world his reign extends:
See him spread his peaceful sway,
See all nature him obey.

Calm inspire my golden dreams,
Calmer than the dimpled streams:
Bind my eyes with silken strings,
What is all the pomp of kings?
Downy god, in peace with you,
Let me bid the world adieu.

[p. 263]