Lyrics: Care-Charmer Sleep |
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Care-Charmer Sleep

by Clive James and Pete Atkin

I've come to think
Of what you are and everything you seem
As mine to keep
I am the sleep of which you are the dream

A state of mind
Where seeing you and thinking are the same
But there's a catch
I strike a match to set the glass aflame

And pale purple on a clear liqueur
That ring of light is all we ever were

So slight a thing
In no one's mind should ever reign supreme
I'm in deep
I am the sleep of which you are the dream

Note (from Collected Poems)

When the English Renaissance poet Samuel Daniel used the lovely phrase ‘care-charmer sleep’ to open a sonnet, it was an instant hit. Michael Drayton used the same phrase within the line instead of at the start. Dial the phrase into the Web and you can soon find a thesis devoted to Daniel by one George Keyports Brady, submitted for a PhD at the University of Illinois in 1923. Punctiliously written, the ideal introduction to the whole area of Petrarchan poetry in Europe, Brady’s thesis is full of hard learning in several languages and would serve all on its own to make you wonder about those thousands of PhD theses in the humanities today, almost invariably devoted to shuffling theories about a subject that can’t be theorized about, but only studied, and not even studied if it is not loved.