Sunday, 17 November 2013

Day 485: To Sleep

I read recently that Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) is a fan of poetry, playing one of the Beats poets in a new upcoming movie. But, he's a traditionalist at heart, noting Keats as his favourite poet. When asked why, he replied simply: 'His language is just so gorgeous.'  That's it, of course. No better way to put it. His language is a balm I always say. Just reading it soothes over the troubled mind.    Here he is on sleep. Too many beautiful phrases to quote, but a very true one, as all insomniacs will know is 'Then save me, or the passed day will shine/Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,–'.  Ah yes.      

To Sleep- Keats

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
    Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
    Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O 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 for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
    Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

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