Sonnet XIII
(“Thou Child of Night and Silence”)

Anna Seward

Edited by Jack Lynch

Commentary and a note on the text will follow. Note that this is a reading text, with no pretense to being a critical edition.

Sonnet XIII

Thou child of Night, and Silence, balmy Sleep,
Shed thy soft poppies on my aching brow!
And charm to rest the thoughts of whence, or how
Vanish’d that priz’d Affection, wont to keep
Each grief of mine from rankling into woe. [5]
Then stern Misfortune from her bended bow
Loos’d the dire strings; — and Care, and anxious Dread
From my cheer’d heart, on sullen pinion fled.
But now, the spell dissolv’d, th’ enchantress gone,
Ceaseless those cruel fiends infest my day, [10]
And sunny hours but light them to their prey.
Then welcome midnight shades, when th wish’d boon
May in oblivious dews my eye-lids steep,
Thou child of Night and Silence, balmy Sleep!