Sleep! downy sleep! come close my eyes

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General information

This is a poem by Thomas Flatman, first published 1672, entitled Anthem for the Evening. It generally has meter 88. 88. (L. M.), but the last line of the last stanza has ten syllables.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

Sleep! downy sleep! come close my eyes,
Tired with beholding vanities!
Sweet slumbers, come and chase away
The toils and follies of the day:

On your soft bosom will I lie,
Forget the world, and learn to die;
O Israel’s watchful shepherd, spread
Tents of angels round my bed.


Let not the spirits of the air
While I slumber, me ensnare;
But save thy suppliant free from harms,
Clasped in thine everlasting arms.

Clouds and thick darkness is thy throne,
Thy wonderful pavilion;
O dart from thence a shining ray,
And then my midnight shall be day!


Thus when the morn, in crimson dressed,
Breaks through the windows of the east,
My hymns of thankful praise shall rise
Like incense of the morning sacrifice.

Anthem for the Evening from Thomas Flatman's Poems and Songs, Fourth Edition, 1686

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