Heinrich Heine

(13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856 / Dusseldorf)

Death And His Brother Sleep (‘morphine’) - Poem by Heinrich Heine

There’s a mirror likeness between those two
shining, youthfully-fledged figures, though
one seems paler than the other and more austere,
I might even say more perfect, more distinguished,
than he, who would take me confidingly in his arms –
how soft then and loving his smile, how blessed his glance!
Then, it might well have been that his wreath
of white poppies gently touched my forehead, at times,
and drove the pain from my mind with its strange scent.
But that is transient. I can only, now, be well,
when the other one, so serious and pale,
the older brother, lowers his dark torch. –
Sleep is so good, Death is better, yet
surely never to have been born is best.


Comments about Death And His Brother Sleep (‘morphine’) by Heinrich Heine

  • (2/22/2017 8:44:00 AM)


    This poem appears to be the result of a tug of war between the depression and instinct of survival going on in the sub conscience of the poet due to reasons/ circumstances best known to him. (Report) Reply

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  • Terry Craddock (1/8/2017 9:06:00 PM)


    Death Is But A Measured Sleep

    death has a meaure appointed
    death from under covers creeps
    death in drugs dosages peeps
    death has a meaure appointed

    sleep has a meaure appointed
    in time lost morphine dreams
    in time lost morphine dreamed
    sleep in Hypnos seed dreams

    Thanatos death brother sleep Hypnos
    beware twin brothers mirror likeness
    sons of Nyx night and Erobos darkness

    beware their symbol potent flowers poppies
    flower's hypnotic opiate scent pharmacologies
    least needles prick whisper line shrink veins

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Death And His Brither Sleep ('morphine') by the poet Heinrich Heine.
    Dedicated to the poet Henrich Heine.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (12/13/2016 11:55:00 PM)


    'There’s a mirror likeness between those two
    shining, youthfully-fledged figures, though
    one seems paler than the other and more austere, '

    loved this comparison between death and sleep and the sentiment of

    'Sleep is so good, Death is better, yet
    surely never to have been born is best.'

    which seems to echo the bitter curd of a life distasteful.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/13/2016 1:45:00 AM)


    A gift to read this poem on a sleepless night. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: mirror, brother, smile, sleep, pain, dark, death



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 21, 2003



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