Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Poet
Poem
Short poem
Keyword
Concordance

John Keats (1795-1821)

To Sleep


              1O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
              2      Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
              3Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
              4      Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
              5O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
              6      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
              7Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
              8      Around my bed its lulling charities.
              9Then save me, or the passed day will shine
            10Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,--
            11      Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
            12Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
            13      Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
            14And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

Notes

1] First published in a Plymouth newspaper (1838). It had been copied into a journal letter to George Keats on April 30, 1819.

13] wards: parts of a lock.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: John Keats, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820). Facs. edn.: Scolar Press, 1970. PR 4830 E20AB Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1848
RPO poem editor: J. R. MacGillivray
RP edition: 3RP 2.647.
Recent editing: 4:2001/12/28

Composition date: April 1819
Composition date note: April 19, 1819
Form: English Sonnet (variant)
Rhyme: ababcdcdbcfgfg


Other poems by John Keats