Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SLEEPER, by CHARLES COTTON



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THE SLEEPER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What a strange lump of laziness here lies
Last Line: Tis well if thou wak'st at the trumpet's sound.
Subject(s): Sleep


WHAT a strange lump of laziness here lies,
That from the light of day bolts up his eyes!
Thou look'st, when God created thee, as if
He had forgot t' impart His breath of life.
That th' art with seven sleepy Fiends possest,
A man would judge, or that bewitcht at least.
It is a curse upon thee, without doubt,
And Heav'n for sin has put thy candles out.

I could excuse thee, if this sloth could be
Bred by the venom of infirmity;
But 'tis in Nature's force impossible,
Her whole corruption makes not such a spell,
Though thou an abstract had'st ingrost of all
Ills, and diseases apoplectical.
Wer't thou not male, I should guess thee the bride
Cut out of sleeping Adam's senseless side;
But that I do this doubtful query find,
Whether such sloth can spring from human kind?
If so, thy Mother in conception,
With wine, and dormice fed her embryon;
Or, when he did the penitential deed,
Thy drowsy Father voided Poppy-seed.

I should believe th' had'st drunk in Lethe's deep,
But that I see, th'ast not forgot to sleep.
Sleep without end, which justifies the theme
That thus informs, Man's life is but a Dream,
Just such is thine; and since 'tis so profound,
'Tis well if thou wak'st at the Trumpet's sound.





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