Sunday, February 21, 2010

Poe's Valentines: To —— (1833)

To —— (1833)

This poem begins "Sleep on, sleep on, another hour" and first appeared in the Baltimore Saturday Visiter on May 11, 1833. It was signed "TAMERLANE" (just as the poem "Fanny," which would be printed in the same periodical one week later) and addressed to an anonymous woman. It is essentially a lullaby.

This poem was first attributed to Poe by John C. French. "Tamerlane," at the end of the poem, refers to the title of the chief offering in Poe's first published collection of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827).

To ——
Edgar Allan Poe

Sleep on, sleep on, another hour —
I would not break so calm a sleep,
To wake to sunshine and to show'r,
To smile and weep.

Sleep on, sleep on, like sculptured thing,
Majestic, beautiful art thou;
Sure seraph shields thee with his wing
And fans thy brow —

We would not deem thee child of earth,
For, O, angelic, is thy form!
But, that in heav'n thou had'st thy birth,
Where comes no storm

To mar the bright, the perfect flow'r,
But all is beautiful and still —
And golden sands proclaim the hour
Which brings no ill.

Sleep on, sleep on, some fairy dream
Perchance is woven in thy sleep —
But, O, thy spirit, calm, serene,
Must wake to weep.


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