How many thousand of my poorest subjects are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, upon uneasy pallets stretching thee and hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber, than in the perfumed chambers of the great, under the canopies of costly state, and lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile in loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch a watch-case or a common ‘larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast seal up the ship-boy’s eyes, and rock his brains in cradle of the rude imperious surge and in the visitation of the winds, who take the ruffian billows by the top, curling their monstrous heads and hanging them with deafening clamour in the slippery clouds, that, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose to the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude, and in the calmest and most stillest night, with all appliances and means to boot, deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.