Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
503. To the Night
 
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
 
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,—
          Swift be thy flight!
 
Wrap thy form in a mantle gray
          Star-inwrought!
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—
          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 noon-tide bee        25
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?—And 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, belove´d Night—
Swift be thine approaching flight,
          Come soon, soon!        35
 

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