As reason's pow'rs by day our God disclose,
So may we trace him in the nights repose!
Say, what is sleep? and dreams, how passing strange!
When action ceases, and the ideas range
Licentious and unbounded o'er the plains,
Where Fancy's queen in giddy triumph reigns.
Hear, in soft strains, the dreaming lover sigh
To a kind fair, or rave in jealousy;
On pleasure now, and now on vengeance bent,
The lab'ring passions struggle for a vent.
What pow'r, O man! thy reason then restores,
So long suspended in nocturnal hours!
What secret hand returns the mental train,
And gives, improv'd, thine active pow'rs a gain?
From thee, O man, what gratitude should rise!
And when from balmy sleep thou op'st thine eyes,
Let thy first thoughts be praises to the skies.
How merciful our God who thus imparts
O'erflowing tides of joy to human hearts,
When wants and woes might be our righteous lot,
Our God forgetting by our God forgot!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Extracted from Phillis Wheatley, "Thoughts on the Works of Providence" in Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, pp. 45-46: