The fateful slumber floats and flows
About the tangle of the rose;
But lo! the fated hand and heart
To rend the slumberous curse apart!
The Council Room.
The threat of war, the hope of peace,
The Kingdom's peril and increase
Sleep on, and bide the latter day,
When fate shall take her chain away.
The Garden Court.
The maiden pleasance of the land
Knoweth no stir of voice or hand,
No cup the sleeping waters fill,
The restless shuttle lieth still.
Here lies the hoarded love, the key
To all the treasure that shall be;
Come fated hand the gift to take,
And smite this sleeping world awake.
This poem was apparently written for the series of paintings by this name that depict the story of Sleeping Beauty (or Briarose) by Morris's close friend, Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Two versions of this series exist, the first painted between 1870-73 at Museo de Arte, Ponce, Puerto Rico, and the second painted between 1870-90 at Farington Trust, Buscot Park, Farington, Berkshire.
This Project Gutenberg etext [number 3468] was produced by David Price, email email@example.com, from the 1896 Longmans, Green and Co. edition. GPL converted it to HTML for the Victorian Web in August 2004 and to CSS in December 2006.
Last modified 27 August 2004