Posted by Baceseras on October 03, 2007
In Reply to: Sweetly Slip Into the Quiet Night? posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 01, 2007
: : I am looking for a phrase that was used recently in a hospital when my Mother was dying. I can't find the exact words, and I am looking for someone that might know the correct saying. My family and I thought it was, "Sweetly Slip Into the Quiet Night!" Can anyone help me? Thanks so much!
: It was almost certainly a version ,more or less garbled, of "go gentle into that good night" , from a poem called "To My Father" by Dylan Thomas. It's ironic that it gets bandied about quite a bit in situations such as your mother's hospital, because "going gently..." is precisely what Thomas in his poem wanted his father *not* to do:
: Do not go gentle into that good night.
: Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
: Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
: You can read the whole poem here: http://purplequill.com/writing2.htm
It might have been a different phrase, from a different poem: ".. slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of God."
President Reagan quoted these lines in commemorating the lost crew of the space shuttle Challenger 7.
They come from a poem by John Gillespie Magee, who in 1941 was a Yank in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The complete poem can be found here: