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Come, heavy Sleep, the image of true Death, And close up these my weary weeping eyes, Whose spring of tears doth stop my vital breath, And tears my heart with Sorrow's sigh-swoll'n cries. Come and possess my tired through-worn soul, That living dies till thou on me be stole. [ Come, shape of rest, and shadow of my end,]1 Allied to Death, child to his joyless black-fac'd Night, Come thou and charm these rebels in my breast, Whose waking fancies doth my mind affright. O come, sweet Sleep, or I die forever; Come ere my last sleep comes, or come thou never.
R. Johnson sets stanza 1
1 retired countertenor David Hill writes that this should in fact read: 'Come shadow of my end and shape of rest'. The old Stainer & Bell edition of Edmund Fellowes is still published with this lyrical transposition because Fellowes swapped the phrases around to try to make the syllables of the second stanza fit the number of printed notes, even though to do so destroys the rhyme sequence. Mr. Hill emphasizes that it is perfectly easy to sing this as written with a bit of ingenuity.
- by Anonymous / Unidentified Author [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by John Dowland (1562 - 1626), "Come, heavy Sleep" [text verified 1 time]
- by Robert Johnson (c1583 - 1633), "Come heavy sleep", stanza 1. [treble voice and lute] [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- SPA Spanish (Español) (Mercedes Vivas) , title 1: "Ven, Sueño pesado", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 102
Ven, Sueño pesado, la imagen de la verdadera Muerte, Y cierra estos ojos míos, cansados y sollozantes, Cuyo manantial de lágrimas detiene mi respiración vital, Y rasga mi corazón con los lamentos suspirantes de la pena. Ven y apodérate de mi alma cansada y desgastada, Que viviendo, muere hasta que tú me la robes. Ven, sombra de mi fin, y forma de descanso Aliada de la Muerte, e hija de su Noche de rostro negro, Ven tú y hechiza a estos rebeldes en mi pecho, Cuyas fantasías aterrorizan mi mente. Oh, ven, dulce Sueño, ven o muero para siempre; Ven antes de que venga mi último sueño, o no vengas nunca.
- Translation from English to Spanish (Español) copyright © 2008 by Mercedes Vivas, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
This text was added to the website: 2008-10-27
Line count: 12
Word count: 111