Sunday, December 6, 2009

Poem of the Week: "To Sleep," by John Keats

Earlier this weekend, I spoke to a friend who was taking a class on the British Romantics. She's become a lover of Percy Shelley, and when she told me this, I probably made a face. Because when it comes to the Romantics, there is only one person who matters to me: John Keats. I love Keats. I don't want to spend my entire day reading him, but a life without a Keats poem here and there would be empty indeed. Plus, he's such a fascinating figure in and of himself, so tragic and talented. Here is one of my favorite Keat's poems. I am particuarly fond of the final lovely couplet.

To Sleep, by John Keats

O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
So soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
Its strength in darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed casket of my soul.

No comments:

Post a Comment