Poor Man’s Wealth

The burdens and fatigues of this life necessitate rest. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” the old saying goes, and we understand this—the sluggish, glassy-eyed stupor of the overtired.

It’s been years since we’ve taken time off that hasn’t involved professional education or funerals, so we are taking a much-needed rest. Rest can involve many relaxing pastimes, like reading and taking walks and swinging on a porch swing in the warm summer air with an icy drink nearby. But let’s face it: for parents of small children, sometimes the absolute best rest is straight-up sleep. And while we do not dream of an enchanting Stella, as the narrator speaks  of in the following sonnet, our rest is enticing enough all by itself.

Come Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release, Th’ indifferent judge between the high and low. 
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease 
Of those fierce darts despair at me doth throw: 
O make in me those civil wars to cease; 
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so. 
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed, 
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light, 
A rosy garland and a weary head: 
And if these things, as being thine by right, Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me, Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.
~ Sir Philip Sidney, Sonnet 39

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