The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

To a Sleeping Child.


Oh, ’tis a touching thing, to make one weep —

A tender infant with its curtain’d eye,

Breathing as it would neither live nor die

With that unchanging countenance of sleep!

As if its silent dream, serene and deep,

Had lined its slumber with a still blue sky

So that the passive cheeks unconscious lie

With no more life than roses — just to keep

The blushes warm, and the mild, odorous breath.

O blossom boy! so calm is thy repose.

So sweet a compromise of life and death,

’Tis pity those fair buds should e’er unclose

For memory to stain their inward leaf,

Tinging thy dreams with unacquainted grief.


Thine eyelids slept so beauteously, I deem’d

No eyes could wake so beautiful as they:

Thy rosy cheeks in such still slumbers lay,

I loved their peacefulness, nor ever dream’d

Of dimples:— for those parted lips so seem’d,

I never thought a smile could sweetlier play,

Nor that so graceful life could chase away

Thy graceful death — till those blue eyes upbeam’d.

Now slumber lies in dimpled eddies drown’d

And roses bloom more rosily for joy,

And odorous silence ripens into sound,

And fingers move to sound. — All-beauteous boy!

How thou dost waken into smiles, and prove,

If not more lovely thou art more like Love!

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55