Primary Resource

"To Sleep" by St. George Tucker (January 24, 1788)

In "To Sleep," written on January 24, 1788, St. George Tucker mourns the death of his wife, Frances Bland Randolph Tucker, who died on January 18.

Transcription from Original

  • 1
  • Come gentle Sleep and weigh my eyelids down
  • And o'er my senses shed oblivion's balm,
  • 'Tis thine alone corroding care to drown,
  • 'Tis thine alone the troubled soul to calm.
  • 2
  • 'Tis thine t'assuage the cruel stings of grief,
  • And scatter roses o'er a bed of thorns.
  • From thee alone affliction seeks relief
  • Even whilst from others that relief she scorns.
  • 3
  • Thou o'er misfortune throwest thy murky veil
  • And from our eyes dost kindly hide the past,
  • Touched by thy poppies memory too shall fail,
  • And reason bend, like willows with the blast.
  • 4
  • Thy dreams past happiness can bring again,
  • And to a dungeon give an Eden's charms;
  • Pluck from my heart its agonizing pain,
  • Restore my love—my Fanny to my arms—
  • 5
  • This bed the scene of all my joys and woes
  • Awakes Remembrance with her busy train,
  • Where Bliss unrivalled used to court repose,
  • Unrivalled Sorrow wakes to endless pain.
  • 6
  • Dear partner of my blissful hour and care
  • Friend of my soul, and mistress of my heart
  • With thee, e'en wretchedness could bliss appear,
  • Without thee, even blessings yield a smart.
  • 7
  • Come then O Sleep, on downy pinions come
  • By dreams attended, hover 'round my head,
  • Convey my sorrows to the silent tomb
  • And raise a sleeping angel from the dead.