To the Night

written by

« Reload image

SWIFTLY walk over 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 5
Which make thee terrible and dear ¡ª
Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day 10
Kiss her until she be wearied out:
Then wander o'er city and sea and land
Touching all with thine opiate wand¡ª
Come long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn 15
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 20
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 25
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me? ¡ªAnd I replied
No, not thee!

Death will come when thou art dead
Soon too soon; 30
Sleep will come when thou art fled:
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee belov¨¨d Night¡ª
Swift be thine approaching flight
Come soon soon! 35

© Percy Bysshe Shelley