Delia Sonnet 45 Carecharmer Sleep son of the sable Night Samuel Daniel 1592 One of

Samuel Daniel's best-known sonnets from Delia (1592), Sonnet 45 begins with an apostrophe and stock epithet for sleep in "Care-charmer sleepe" (l. 1). The speaker in this sonnet is tormented by his love for Delia. At night, his mind fashions dreams wherein he is happy with his beloved; upon waking up from his false dreams, he realizes that his love for her remains unrequited. Prayer-like, the first quatrain of this sonnet qualifies sleep as "sonne of Sable night;" and "brother to Death" and asks that it rouse him into a state of forgetful awakeness (ll. 1-2). The two quatrains are drawn closer together rhetorically as the last sen

"DEOR" 145

tence of the first quatrain flows into the first sentence of the second quatrain with an enjambment. Punning on "morne" (l. 5), the speaker asks that it soon be morning and suggests that it will also be a time of mourning because he will no longer be able to dream happily of Delia. "Morne" is a variant spelling of the verb to mourne and the abbreviated poetic form of morning.

In the second quatrain, the speaker's regrets over a thoughtlessly spent youth echo Sonnet 5 in Delia in which the speaker says, "Whilst youth and error led my wandring minde, / And set my thoughts in hee-deles [heedless] waies to range: / All unawares a Goddess chaste I finde" (ll. 1-3). In Sonnet 45, these words are repeated within the context of sleep, thereby insinuating that the speaker's "ill-aduentered youth" was sleep, and his maturity, years later, awareness. The lover's sleeplessness—a conventional Petrarchan theme—is thus further complicated by this parallel.

Because the speaker's dreams, regardless of how pleasant they are to him, are lies, he supplicates that they "cease . . . th'ymagery of our day desires" (l. 9). His nighttime dreams only serve to remind him, when day arrives, that Delia has not accepted his love. Dreams are also instrumental, however, in shaping his plans for the future, as is suggested by "To modell foorth the passions of the morrow" (l. 10). The third quatrain implies that his daytime reveries shape his thoughts at night and that the following morning, his memory reminds him more fully of Delia's absence. Caught between trying to escape the harshness of reality and the ethereality of dreaming, the speaker concludes this sonnet with a deathlike wish that he continue to sleep so that he "neuer vvake, to feel the dayes disdayne" (l. 14).

Unlike most of the sonnets in Delia, Sonnet 45 does not follow the Elizabethan (English sonnet) rhyme scheme, nor does it follow generic sonnet conventions. The linked first and second quatrains suggest greater unity between the ideas that unfold in those first eight lines. Critics have noted a reference to the myth of Ixion and his grasping of clouds in the rhyming couplet; mythological allusions abound throughout Delia. More generally, Sonnet 45 is known for its pace, and successful depiction of the contrasts between night and day.

See also Delia (overview).

Josie Panzuto

"DEOR" Anonymous (before 1072) This 42-line lyrical poem is found in the Exeter Book alongside other elegies. often classified as generally heroic, it is varyingly referred to as a consolatio, a lament, and an ubi sunt poem. The poem is comprised of six stanzas, each of which ends with a refrain: "This too shall pass." In line 37, the poet names himself—Deor.

Deor is a professional who expects his audience to be familiar with the general stories he references. Each of these touches on tragic events and responses to them. The first stanza encapsulates the story of Wayland, a skilled artisan imprisoned by King Nithad, who wreaks his revenge by killing Nithad's sons, raping his daughter, and then escaping. Stanza 2 continues this tale from the perspective of Beado-hild, Nithad's daughter, pregnant from her rape. The third stanza is about the doomed lovers Geat and Maethild. The fourth declares Theodoric the bane of many. The fifth stanza depicts Eormenric as a cruel tyrant. Finally, the sixth addresses the general suffering of human existence. Turning personal, the poet identifies himself and bemoans his loss of status: once a respected court poet, he was turned out by his lord.

These stories are taken from a variety of sources, including the Old Norse/Icelandic Eddas and Sagas, although the names have been anglicized. Most criticism of the poem focuses on the historical connections or on the role of the scop (old English band), as well as the oral poetic tradition. However, some recent feminist criticism has investigated the poem's contents in light of women's power or lack thereof.

See also elegy, Widsith.

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Responses

  • zahra
    Why is sleep described as a carecharmer?
    6 years ago
  • Mario
    Why did Samuel Daniel writenCarecharmer sleep?
    3 years ago
  • Kerstin
    Why did samuel daniel write the poem care charmer sleep?
    2 years ago

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