by William Blake (1757 - 1827)

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming o'er the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep, in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel, 
Smiles as of the morning steal 
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast 
Where thy little heart does rest.

O! the cunning wiles that creep 
In thy little heart asleep. 
When thy little heart does wake 
Then the dreadful lightnings break, 

From thy cheek and from thy eye, 
O'er the youthful harvests nigh. 
Infant wiles and infant smiles 
Heaven and Earth of peace beguiles.

B. Britten sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5
J. Carpenter sets stanzas 1-2

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, [adaptation] ; composed by Richard Bamford Lane.
  • Also set in Welsh (Cymraeg), a translation by William Evans (1883 - 1968) , copyright © ; composed by Haydn Morris.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Geoffrey Wieting

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 109