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Poem by Abraham Cowley


Sleep


In vain, thou drowsy God! I thee invoke;
For thou, who dost from fumes arise
Thou, who man's soul dost overshade
With a thick cloud by vapours made
Canst have no power to shut his eyes,
Or passage of his spirits to choke,
Whose flame's so pure that it sends up no smoke.

Yet how do tears but from some vapours rise?
Tears, that bewinter all my year?
The fate of Egypt I sustain,
And never feel the dew of rain,
From clouds which in the head appear;
But all my too much moisture owe
To overflowings of the heart below.

Thou, who dost men (as nights to colours do)
Bring to an equality!
Come, thou just God! and equal me
Awhile to my disdainful She:
In that condition let me lie,
Till Love does the favour shew:
Love equals all a better way than you.

Then never more shalt thou b' invok'd by me;
Watchful as spirits and Gods I'll prove:
Let her but grant, and then will I
Thee and thy kinsman Death defy;
For, betwixt thee and them that love,
Never will an agreement be;
Thou scorn'st th' unhappy, and the happy, thee! 



Abraham Cowley


Abraham Cowley's other poems:
  1. An Answer To A Copy Of Verses Sent Me To Jersey
  2. Constantia's Song
  3. The Usurpation
  4. Against Fruition
  5. Cheer Up, My Mates


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Isaac Rosenberg Sleep ("Godhead's lip hangs")
  • Henry Longfellow Sleep ("Lull me to sleep, ye winds, whose fitful sound")
  • James Johnson Sleep ("O Sleep, thou kindest minister to man")
  • John Tabb Sleep ("When he is a little chap")

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