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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

To Sleep

By William Cliffton (1772–1799)

[Born in Philadelphia, Penn., 1772. Died there, 1799. From Poems, chiefly Occasional, by the late Mr. Cliffton. 1800.]

HENCE with thy palsied hand, detested Sleep!

Go seal the lids of wretchedness and care:

Seek thou the couch where injured beauties weep,

And rescue these one moment from despair.

For me, I charge thee o’er my busy brain

Thy stupefying influence never fling;

Fancy is there, with all her lovely train,

And dreads the shadow of thy raven wing.

But when exhausted is my lingering breath,

And songs of joy, and every transport o’er,

One sleep I’ll take, the last cold sleep of death,

To wake where thou can’st never plague me more.