Collected poems, 1901-1918 (Vol. 2)/The Child in the Story Goes to Bed

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I PRYTHEE, Nurse, come smooth my hair,
And prythee, Nurse, unloose my shoe,
And trimly turn my silken sheet
Upon my quilt of gentle blue.

My pillow sweet of lavender
Smooth with an amiable hand,
And may the dark pass peacefully by
As in the hour-glass droops the sand.

Prepare my cornered manchet sweet,
And in my little crystal cup
Pour out the blithe and flowering mead
That forthwith I may sup.

Withdraw my curtains from the night,
And let the crisped crescent shine
Upon my eyelids while I sleep,
And soothe me with her beams benign.

Dark looks the forest far-away;
O, listen! through its empty dales
Rings from the solemn echoing boughs
The music of its nightingales.

Now quench my silver lamp, prythee,
And bid the harpers harp that tune
Fairies which haunt the meadowlands
Sing clearly to the stars of June.

And bid them play, though I in dreams
No longer heed their pining strains,
For I would not to silence wake
When slumber o'er my senses wanes.

You Angels bright who me defend,
Enshadow me with curved wing,
And keep me in the darksome night
Till dawn another day do bring.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1956, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.