Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Night and Sleep
By Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)
HOW strange at night to wake
  And watch, while others sleep,
Till sight and hearing ache
  For objects that may keep
The awful inner sense        5
  Unroused, lest it should mark
The life that haunts the emptiness
  And horror of the dark!
How strange the distant bay
  Of dogs; how wild the note        10
Of cocks that scream for day,
  In homesteads far remote;
How strange and wild to hear
  The old and crumbling tower,
Amidst the darkness, suddenly        15
  Take tongue and speak the hour!
Albeit the love-sick brain
  Affects the dreary moon,
Ill things alone refrain
  From life’s nocturnal swoon:        20
Men melancholy mad,
  Beasts ravenous and sly,
The robber and the murderer,
  Remorse, with lidless eye.
The nightingale is gay,
  For she can vanquish night;
Dreaming, she sings of day,
  Notes that make darkness bright;
But when the refluent gloom
  Saddens the gaps of song,        30
Men charge on her the dolefulness,
  And call her crazed with wrong.
If dreams or panic dread
  Reveal the gloom of gloom,
Kiss thou the pillow’d head        35
  By thine, and soft resume
The confident embrace;
  And so each other keep
In the sure league of amity
  And the safe lap of sleep.        40

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