The Sleeping Beauty (Tennyson)

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For works with similar titles, see Sleeping Beauty.
Illustration by W. E. F. Britten

Year after year unto her feet,
The while she slumbereth alone,
Over the purpled coverlet
The maiden’s jet black hair bath grown,
On either side her trancéd forth
Forth streaming from a braid of pearl;
The slumb’rous light is rich and warm,
And moves not on the rounded curl.


The silk star-braided coverlid
Unto her limbs itself doth mould
Languidly ever, and amid
Her full black ringlets downward roll’d
Glows forth each softly shadow’d arm,
With bracelets of the diamond bright;
Her constant beauty doth inform
Stillness with love and day with light.


She sleeps; her breathings are not heard
In palace chambers far apart;
The fragrant tresses are not stirred
That lie upon her charmed heart.
She sleeps; on either side upswells
The gold fringed pillow lightly prest;
She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.