by Francis Quarles (1592 - 1644) and sometimes misattributed to Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland (1600 - 1649)
Translation

Close thine eyes and sleep secure
Language: English  after the English 
Close thine eyes and sleep secure,
Thy soul is safe, thy body sure;
He that guards thee, He [that]1 keeps,
[Never]2 slumbers, never sleeps.
A quiet conscience, in a quiet breast
Has only peace, has only rest:
The music and the mirth of kings
Are out of tune, unless she sings.
Then close thine eyes [in peace and rest]3 secure,
No sleep so sweet as thine, no rest so sure.

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Confirmed with Literary Curiosities and Eccentricities, A Book of Anecdote, Laconic Sayings, and Gems of Thought, in Prose and Verse, ed. by W. A. Clouston. London: Ward, Lock & Tyler, Warwick House, Paternoster Row, E. C., 1876, p. 157, in which it is titled "Last poem of Charles the First" and the note beneath the title says "This poem is given by Nahum Tate, in his Miscellanea Sacra", 1698. The poem is in fact by Francis Quarles.

1 Purcell: "thee"
2 Purcell: "Who never"
3 Plumstead: "and sleep"

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-07-05
Line count: 10
Word count: 70