Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
To the Night

SWIFT-LY walk o-ver the west-ern wave,
Spi-rit of Night!
Out of the mis-ty eas-tern cave
Where, all the long and lone day-light,
Thou wo-vest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee ter-rib-le and dear,—
Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a man-tle gray,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day,
Kiss her un-til she be wear-ied out:
Then wan-der o'er ci-ty and sea and land,
Touch-ing all with thine op-iate wand—
Come, long-sought!

When I a-rose and saw the dawn,
I sigh'd for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay hea-vy on flower and tree,
And the wear-y Day turn'd to his rest
Lin-ger-ing like an un-loved guest,
I sigh'd for thee.

Thy bro-ther Death came, and cried,
"Wouldst thou me?"
Thy sweet child Sleep, the fil-my-eyed,
Mur-mur'd like a noon-tide bee,
"Shall I nest-le near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?"— And I rep-lied,
"No, not thee!"

Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon;
Sleep will come when thou art fled:
Of nei-ther would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, be-lov-èd Night—
Swift be thine ap-proach-ing flight,
Come soon, soon!


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