Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

A Book of Sonnets


LULL me to sleep, ye winds, whose fitful sound

Seems from some faint Æolian harpstring caught;

Seal up the hundred wakeful eyes of thought

As Hermes with his lyre in sleep profound

The hundred wakeful eyes of Argus bound;

For I am weary, and am overwrought

With too much toil, with too much care distraught,

And with the iron crown of anguish crowned.

Lay thy soft hand upon my brow and cheek,

O peaceful Sleep! until from pain released

I breathe again uninterrupted breath!

Ah, with what subtle meaning did the Greek

Call thee the lesser mystery at the feast

Whereof the greater mystery is death!