The sonnet for insomniacs …

Come Sleep, O Sleep …

Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
Th’ indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the press
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw!
O make in me those civil wars to cease!—
I will good tribute pay if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf of noise and blind of light,
A rosy garland, and a weary head;
And if these things, as being thine in right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.

Sir Philip Sidney

– – –

Note: If you are reading this sonnet out loud, “press” in Elizabethan English was pronounced “preese” to rhyme with release. Or anyway, that’s what my perfesser at collitch said.

Categories: Arts, Books, Light and Lights, Literature, Photography, Poetry, Quotation

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7 replies

  1. Ahhh, that elusive, “certain knot of peace.” I also like, “…to sleep, perchance to dream.” Shakespeare, I believe? Midsummer’s Night Dream? I’m guessing here.
    Breath-taking fall photo. That’s not this year is it?
    Your lilies always remind me of my mother’s love of lilies. I created a site for my photos, dedicated it to my sis that we lost last winter, and added a page for mom’s photos. I think you will love her garden, especially her lilies.
    This is no promo, but a genuine link for a new friend.


    • Hamlet “To sleep, perchance to dream … for in that sleep of death what dreams may come.” Didn’t seems like a warm fuzzy nighty night sentiment 🙂

      As for autumn, 8 to 10 weeks to to the beginning. And let’s not hurry. I love autumn. A lot. But winter comes right after and I would just as soon that hold off as long as possible 🙂 Most of my autumn shots are from last autumn, which until the rain finished it, was shaping up well. Rain kills the color and pulls the leaves ff the trees.


      • We really haven’t even had summer, so no hurry at all with fall. I really love that photo on your header!
        I love the quote as more of a curse when I can’t sleep:>)
        Ah, Hamlet, a lot of death and familial killings. So much for my guessing :>}


        • Here’s that whole piece from Hamlet (I looked it up since I only remember snippets … I don’t think I ever knew the whole thing)

          William Shakespeare – To be, or not to be (from Hamlet 3/1)

          To be, or not to be: that is the question:
          Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
          The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
          Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
          And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
          No more; and by a sleep to say we end
          The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
          That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
          Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
          To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
          For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
          When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
          Must give us pause: there’s the respect
          That makes calamity of so long life;
          For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
          The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
          The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
          The insolence of office and the spurns
          That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
          When he himself might his quietus make
          With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
          To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
          But that the dread of something after death,
          The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
          No traveller returns, puzzles the will
          And makes us rather bear those ills we have
          Than fly to others that we know not of?
          Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
          And thus the native hue of resolution
          Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
          And enterprises of great pith and moment
          With this regard their currents turn awry,
          And lose the name of action. – Soft you now!
          The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
          Be all my sins remember’d.


          • Oh, my not, “With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,” hahaha
            Funny I know a snippet here and there…but certainly not all. I always wanted to memorize great poetry…can’t even memorize my own name most of the time now.
            Thanks, prefesser:>)


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