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SLEEP
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[ Also see Action Bed Death Dreams Early Rising Insomnia Midnight Night Nightmares Peace Quiet Repose Rest Waking Weariness ]

O peaceful Sleep! until from pain released
  I breathe again uninterrupted breath!
    Ah, with what subtile meaning did the Greek
      Call thee the lesser mystery, at the feast
        Whereof the greater mystery is death.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oh, sleep! sweet sleep!
  Whatever form thou takest, thou art fair
    Holding unto our lips thy goblet filled
      Out of oblivion's well, a healing draught.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To sleep--there is a drowsy mellifluence in the very word that would almost serve to interpret its meaning--to shut up the senses and hoodwink the soul; to dismiss the world; to escape from one's self; to be in ignorance of our own existence; to stagnate upon the earth; just breathing out the hours, not living them--"doing no mischief, only dreaming of it;" neither merry nor melancholy, something between both, and better than either. Best friend of frail humanity, and, like all other friends, it is best estimated in its loss.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For I am weary, and am overwrought
  With too much toil, with too much care distraught,
    And with the iron crown of anguish crowned.
      Lay thy soft hand upon my brow and cheek,
        O peaceful Sleep!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sleep

Dreams of the summer night!
  Tell her, her lover keeps
    Watch! while in slumbers light
      She sleeps!
        My lady sleeps!
          Sleeps!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Spanish Student
         (act I, sc. 3, Serenade, st. 4)

Thou driftest gently down the tides of sleep.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, To a Child
         (l. 115)

The soul shares not the body's test.
      - Charles Robert Maturin

The drowsy frightened steeds that draw the litter of close-curtained sleep.
      - John Milton

While the bee with honied thigh,
  That at her flowery work doth sing,
    And the waters murmuring
      With such a consort as they keep,
        Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep.
      - John Milton, Il Penseroso (l. 142)

The timely dew of sleep
  Now falling with soft slumb'rous weight inclines
    Our eyelids.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IV, l. 615)

For his sleep
  Was aery light, from pure digestion bred.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. V, l. 3)

We wake sleeping, and sleep waking. I do not see so clearly in my sleep; but as to my being awake, I never found it clear enough and free from clouds.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time,
  Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?
    Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme
      Beat with light wing against the ivory gate,
        Telling a tale not too importunate
          To those who in the sleepy region stay,
            Lulled by the singer of an empty day.
      - William Morris (1),
        Apology to The Earthly Paradise

Kind sleep affords
  The only boon the wretched mind can feel;
    A momentary respite from despair.
      - Arthur Murphy

O, we're a' noddin', nid, nid, noddin';
  O we're a noddin' at our house at hame.
      - Baroness Carolina Oliphant Nairne,
        We're a' Noddin'

Leave your bed upon the first desertion of sleep; it being ill for the eye's to read lying, and worse for the mind to be idle; since the head during that laziness is commonly a cage for unclean thoughts.
      - Francis Osborne (Osborn)

Sleep, thou most gentle of the deities.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

Sleep, thou repose of all things; sleep, thou gentlest of the deities; thou peace of the mind, from which care flies; who doest soothe the hearts of men wearied with the toils of the day, and refittest them for labor.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

Fool, what is sleep but the likeness of icy death? The fates shall give us a long period of rest.
  [Lat., Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidae nisi mortis imago?
    Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Amorum
         (bk. II, 10, 40)

Time, motion and wine cause sleep.
  [Lat., Alliciunt somnos tempus motusque merumque.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Fasti
         (VI, 681)

Sleep, rest of nature, O sleep, most gentle of the divinities, peace of the soul, thou at whose presence care disappears, who soothest hearts wearied with daily employments, and makest them strong again for labour!
  [Lat., Somne, quies rerum, placidissime, somne, Deorum,
    Pax animi, quem cura fugit, qui corda diurnis
      Fessa ministeriis mulces, reparasque labori!]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Metamorphoses
         (XI, 624)

One-half of life is admitted by us to be passed in sleep, in which, however, it may appear otherwise, we have no perception of truth, and all our feelings are delusions; who knows but the other half of life, in which we think we are awake, is a sleep also, but in some respects different from the other, and from which we wake when we, as we call it, sleep. As a man dreams often that he is dreaming, crowding one dreamy delusion on another.
      - Blaise Pascal

Balow, my babe, lye still and sleipe,
  It grieves me sair to see thee weipe.
      - Thomas Percy,
        Reliques--Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament

Sleep and death, two twins of winged race,
  Of matchless swiftness, but of silent pace.
      - Alexander Pope

Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep.
      - Alexander Pope


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