Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Fragment of a Sleep-Song
 
Sydney Dobell (1824–74)
 
 
SISTER Simplicitie,
Sing, sing a song to me,
Sing me to sleep.
Some legend low and long,
Slow as the summer song        5
Of the dull Deep.
 
Some legend long and low,
Whose equal ebb and flow
To and fro creep
On the dim marge of gray        10
’Tween the soul’s night and day,
Washing “awake” away
Into “asleep.”
 
Some legend low and long,
Never so weak or strong        15
As to let go
While it can hold this heart
Withouten sigh or smart,
Or as to hold this heart
When it sighs “No.”        20
 
Some long low swaying song,
As the sway’d shadow long
Sways to and fro
Where, thro’ the crowing cocks,
And by the swinging clocks,        25
Some weary mother rocks
Some weary woe.
 
Sing up and down to me
Like a dream-boat at sea,
So, and still so,        30
Float through the “then” and “when,”
Rising from when to then,
Sinking from then to when
While the waves go.
 
Low and high, high and low,        35
Now and then, then and now,
Mow, now;
And when the now is then, and when the then is now,
And when the low is high, and when the high is low,
Low, low;        40
Let me float, let the boat
Go, go;
Let me glide, let me slide
Slow, slow;
Gliding boat, sliding boat,        45
Slow, slow;
Glide away, slide away
So, so.
 

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