The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...


by: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Swiftly walk o'er the western wave,
Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,--
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee terrible and dear,--
Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out.
Then wander o'er city and sea and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand--
Come, long sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn
I sigh'd for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turn'd to her rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sigh'd for thee.

Thy brother Death came, and cried,
'Wouldst thou me?'
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmur'd like a noontide bee,
'Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?'--and I replied,
'No, not thee!'

Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon--
Sleep will come when thou art fled.
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, belovèd Night--
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!

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Replies to This Discussion

I believe this poem expresses a romantic view of the night. It's also written by one of England's romantic poets. I like how he makes a distinction between night and sleep, and also between night and death. Too bad he drowned just before his 30th birthday. Did you know that he was married to the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley?
Thanks for posting this Jim. I really like it. It is how I feel about my dreams. I even love my creepiest,
scariest, most heart palpitation inducing dreams. I revisit them for weeks, a tongue to a sore tooth. Of course the good dreams can be wonderful, but the bad dreams make me think and drive me to overcome fear,...and they are exCITing,...and yes, I have read everything Stephen King ever wrote.
It's no surprise that Mary had such a cool husband. Ahhh, sweet night,...and brother Death ?,...I'm cool with him too, long as he keeps his distance for a while, okay, that just made me think of Ralph Stanley's version of "Oh Death",..." won't you spare me over for another year ".
I love dreams, too, and I wish I remembered more of mine. The other night, I dreamed I was holding hands with one of my online friends (who shall remain nameless, hehe). Unlike you, I would not want to revisit my scariest nightmares, because they're just too bizarre, much worse than any Stephen King movie I've seen. However, I do enjoy scary movies, like "Fatal Attraction" and "Night of the Living Dead". Frankenstein's monster is, of course, a totally sympathetic character, and not scary at all. I know that "Oh, Death" song well - I heard Kaleidoscope sing it live in the late Sixties. Thanks so much for your comment, Amy. <3


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