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Famous Slumber Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Slumber poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous slumber poems. These examples illustrate what a famous slumber poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...y to Del Fuego south, 
From California to the Oronoque. 
Far from the reach of fame they liv'd unknown 
In listless slumber and inglorious ease; 
To them fair science never op'd her stores, 
Nor sacred truth sublim'd the soul to God; 
No fix'd abode their wand'ring genius knew; 
No golden harvest crown'd the fertile glebe; 
No city then adorn'd the rivers bank, 
Nor rising turret overlook'd the stream. 

Now view the prospect chang'd; far off at sea 
Th...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...ave left the cool glade, and
Have slept with the bee-
Arouse them, my maiden,
On moorland and lea-
Go! breathe on their slumber,
All softly in ear,
Thy musical number
They slumbered to hear-
For what can awaken
An angel so soon,
Whose sleep hath been taken
Beneath the cold moon,
As the spell which no slumber
Of witchery may test,
The rhythmical number
Which lull'd him to rest?"

Spirits in wing, and angels to the view,
A thousand seraphs burst th' Empyrean thro',
Young dreams...Read More

by Milton, John
Rigour now is gone to bed;
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.
We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.
By dimpled brook and fountain...Read More

by Keats, John
...'s empyreal footstool win
An immortality, and how espouse
Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house.
Now was he slumbering towards heaven's gate,
That he might at the threshold one hour wait
To hear the marriage melodies, and then
Sink downward to his dusky cave again.
His litter of smooth semilucent mist,
Diversely ting'd with rose and amethyst,
Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought;
And scarcely for one moment could be caught
His sluggish form reposing m...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Then she remembered the tale she had heard of the justice of Heaven;
Soothed was her troubled soul, and she peacefully slumbered till


Four times the sun had risen and set; and now on the fifth day
Cheerily called the cock to the sleeping maids of the farm-house.
Soon o'er the yellow fields, in silent and mournful procession,
Came from the neighboring hamlets and farms the Acadian women,
Driving in ponderous wains their household goods to the sea-shore,
...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...rk was met 
 With wine in sacred cup and purpose set, 
 A wine mysterious, which the heir must drink 
 To cause deep slumber till next day's soft brink. 
 Then to the castle tower he wends his way, 
 And finds a supper laid with rich display. 
 He sups and sleeps: then to his slumbering eyes 
 The shades of kings from Bela all arise. 
 None dare the tower to enter on this night, 
 But when the morning dawns, crowds are in sight 
 The dreamer to deliver,—whom half da...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar, guard him well, my Giotto's tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O'er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial kn...Read More

by Keats, John, when harbor'd in the sleepy west,
After the full completion of fair day,---
For rest divine upon exalted couch,
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He pac'd away the pleasant hours of ease
With stride colossal, on from hall to hall;
While far within each aisle and deep recess,
His winged minions in close clusters stood,
Amaz'd and full offear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, whil...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...a spectre's attributes, and gave 
His aspect all that terror gives the grave. 


'Twas midnight — all was slumber; the lone light 
Dimm'd in the lamp, as loth to break the night. 
Hark! there be murmurs heard in Lara's hall — 
A sound — voice — a shriek — a fearful call! 
A long, loud shriek — and silence — did they hear 
That frantic echo burst the sleeping ear? 
They heard and rose, and tremulously brave 
Rush where the sound invoked their aid to save; 
Th...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...y spirit safely to an isle of rest.
A little rocking on the tranquil deep
Of song, to soothe thy yearning,
A little slumber and a little sleep,
And so, forget, forget!

Forget, forget,--
The day was long in pleasure;
Its echoes die away across the hill;
Now let thy heart beat time to their slow measure
That swells, and sinks, and faints, and falls, till all is still.
Then, like a weary child that loves to keep
Locked in its arms some treasure,
Thy soul in calm content...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
I know not where, but which a dream diurnal
Paints on my lids a moment till the hull
Be lifted from the kernel
And Slumber fed to me.
Your foot-print is not there, Mnemosene,
Though it would seem a ruined place and after
Your lichenous heart, being full
Of broken columns, caryatides
Thrown to the earth and fallen forward on their jointless knees,
And urns funereal altered into dust
Minuter than the ashes of the dead,
And Psyche's lamp out of the earth up-thrust,
Drip...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...and leave no signs
Save mercy and mystery?

"For God is a great servant,
And rose before the day,
From some primordial slumber torn;
But all we living later born
Sleep on, and rise after the morn,
And the Lord has gone away.

"On things half sprung from sleeping,
All sleepy suns have shone,
They stretch stiff arms, the yawning trees,
The beasts blink upon hands and knees,
Man is awake and does and sees--
But Heaven has done and gone.

For who shall guess the good rid...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ghts with which my heart beat high 
Were irksome — for whate'er my mood, 
In sooth I love not solitude; 
I on Zuleika's slumber broke, 
And as thou knowest that for me 
Soon turns the Haram's grating key, 
Before the guardian slaves awoke 
We to the cypress groves had flown, 
And made earth, main, and heaven our own! 
There linger'd we, beguil'd too long 
With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song, [3] 
Till I, who heard the deep tambour [4] 
Beat thy Divan's approaching hour, 
To t...Read More

by Masefield, John
...m wring. 
But "Woe to him by whom the offense," 
Says our Lord Jesus' Testaments. 
Whatever seems, God doth not slumber 
Though he lets pass times without number. 
He'll come with trump to call his own, 
And t his world's way'll be overthrown. 
He'll come with glory and with fire 
To cast great darkness on the liar, 
To burn the drunkard and the treacher, 
And do his judgment on the lecher, 
To glorify the spirit's faces 
Of those whose ways were stony places ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...nted hall,
          Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
     Fairy strains of music fall,
          Every sense in slumber dewing.
     Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
     Dream of fighting fields no more;
     Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
     Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

     'No rude sound shall reach thine ear,
          Armor's clang or war-steed champing
     Trump nor pibroch summon here
          Mustering clan or squadron tramping.
...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
As he were wood*, for woe he gan to cry, *mad
"Help! water, water, help for Godde's heart!"

This carpenter out of his slumber start,
And heard one cry "Water," as he were wood*, *mad
And thought, "Alas! now cometh Noe's flood."
He sat him up withoute wordes mo'
And with his axe he smote the cord in two;
And down went all; he found neither to sell
Nor bread nor ale, till he came to the sell*, *threshold 
Upon the floor, and there in swoon he lay.
Up started Aliso...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...nt Bed
The Morning-Dream that hover'd o'er her Head.
A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-night Beau,
(That ev'n in Slumber caus'd her Cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her Ear his winning Lips to lay,
And thus in Whispers said, or seem'd to say.

Fairest of Mortals, thou distinguish'd Care
Of thousand bright Inhabitants of Air!
If e'er one Vision touch'd thy infant Thought,
Of all the Nurse and all the Priest have taught, 
Of airy Elves by Moonlight Shadows seen,
The silver T...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe rose the day; the Deep
Was at my feet, & Heaven above my head
When a strange trance over my fancy grew
Which was not slumber, for the shade it spread
Was so transparent that the scene came through
As clear as when a veil of light is drawn
O'er evening hills they glimmer; and I knew
That I had felt the freshness of that dawn,
Bathed in the same cold dew my brow & hair
And sate as thus upon that slope of lawn
Under the self same bough, & heard as there
The birds, the fountai...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von! when thou com'st to Sparta, proclaim to the people
That thou hast seen us lie here, as by the law we were bid."
Slumber calmly, ye loved ones! for sprinkled o'er by your life-blood,
Flourish the olive-trees there, joyously sprouts the good seed.
In its possessions exulting, industry gladly is kindled.
And from the sedge of the stream smilingly signs the blue god.
Crushingly falls the axe on the tree, the Dryad sighs sadly;
Down from the crest of the mount ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...y-winding vale
Which to the inmost mountain upward tend,
She called "Hermaphroditus!"--and the pale
And heavy hue which slumber could extend
Over its lips and eyes, as on the gale
A rapid shadow from a slope of grass,
Into the darkness of the stream did pass

And it unfurled its heaven-coloured pinions;
With stars of fire spotting the stream below,
And from above into the Sun's dominions
Flinging a glory like the golden glow
In which Spring clothes her emerald-winged minions,...Read More

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