A Child Asleep

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"A Child Asleep" is a song, with lyrics from a poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It was set to music by the English composer Edward Elgar in December 1909 and published in 1910 by Novello.[1] It was first published by Browning in 1840.[2]

It is dedicated to Anthony Goetz, the son of Ludovic Goetz and Muriel Foster, a favourite singer and personal friend of Elgar.[1]


How he sleepeth!

Vision unto vision calleth,
While the young child dreameth on.
Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth
With the glory thou hast won!
Darker wert thou in the garden, yestermorn, by summer sun.

We should see the spirits ringing
Round thee, - were the clouds away.
'Tis the child-heart draws them, singing
In the silent-seeming clay -
Singing! - Stars that seem the mutest, go in music, music all the day.

Softly! softly, make no noises!
Now he lieth still and dumb -
Now he hears the angels' voices
Folding silence in the room -
Now he muses deep the meaning of the Heaven-words as they come.
Floweth outward with increase -
Dare not bless him! but be blessèd by his peace - and go in peace.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Kennedy, Michael (1987). Portrait of Elgar (Third ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 350. ISBN 0-19-284017-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Browning, Elizabeth Barrett; Preston, Harriet Waters (1900). The Complete Poetical Works of Mrs. Browning. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 155–156.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Percy Young, Elgar O.M.