Treasure Island

Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Night


SWIFTLY walk o'er the western wave,
   Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,--
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee terrible and dear,--
   Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
   Star-inwrought!
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out.
Then wander o'er city and sea and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand--
   Come, long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,
   I sigh'd for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turn'd to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
   I sigh'd for thee.

Thy brother Death came, and cried,
   'Wouldst thou me?'
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmur'd like a noontide bee,
'Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?'--And I replied,
   'No, not thee!'

Death will come when thou art dead,
   Soon, too soon--
Sleep will come when thou art fled.
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night--
Swift be thine approaching flight,
   Come soon, soon!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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