Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Song: ‘Morpheus, the humble god, that dwells’
By Sir John Denham (1615–1669)
 
[From The Sophy, Act V.]

MORPHEUS, the humble god, that dwells
In cottages and smoky cells,
Hates gilded roofs and beds of down,
And though he fears no prince’s frown,
Flies from the circle of a crown.        5
 
Come, I say, thou powerful god,
And thy leaden charming-rod,
Dipt in the Lethean lake,
O’er his wakeful temples shake,
Lest he should sleep and never wake.        10
 
Nature, alas! why art thou so
Obligèd to thy greatest foe?
Sleep that is thy best repast,
Yet of death it bears a taste,
And both are the same thing at last.        15
 
 
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