Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
Sleep
By Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset (1536–1608)
 
BY him lay heavy Sleep, the cousin of Death,
Flat on the ground, and still as any stone,
A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath:
Small keep took he, whom Fortune frowned on,
Or whom she lifted up into the throne        5
Of high renown: but as a living death,
So, dead alive, of life he drew the breath.
 
The body’s rest, the quiet of the heart,
The travail’s ease, the still night’s fear was he,
And of our life on earth the better part:        10
Reaver of sight, and yet in whom we see
Things oft that tide, and oft that never be:
Without respect, esteeming equally
King Croesus’ pomp, and Irus’ poverty.
 
 
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