On early rising



Out line: 11am spiritually an early riser, physically a late riser – the pleasure of late rising – the disappointing experience of early rising.

In his delightful essay on this subject, A.G. Gardiner says that, though physically a late riser, he is spiritually an early riser. What he means is that he has a passion for the dawn and the dew and the freshness and silence of early morning, but habit and constitutional laziness prevent him from rising with the sun. Without implying any comparison with Gardiner as a writer, I may say that I resemble him in this respect. I fully respond to the beauty of the dawn- in my imagination and reading. 

But I am unable to tear myself away from my bed before at least seven o’ clock.

Since I can’t help getting up late, I do enjoy the pleasure of lying in bed longer than others. Few things in life are more delightful than the sweet slumber in the small hours of the morning. Particularly between five and six in the morning, sleep is pleasant and soothing beyond words. I am then half-awake and half-asleep, afloat on the gentle sea of dim memories and misty dreams. Wrapped from head to foot in the blanket, I am totally cut off from the rude world of reality. When I hear the faint noises made by those who are already up and active, I cling closer to the warm bed, storing up some more energy for the battles of the day.


The elders in the house had done their best to persuade me to rise at cock-crow. Impressed by the old adage about early rising and determined to be wealthy and wise (for I was already healthy), I once solemnly resolved to start getting up at dawn. I did keep the resolution for a day. But I found, to my dismay, that I was too tired and drowsy to appreciate the beauty of the dawn, the dew and the mist. Nor was I in a mood to study or do some other work. Besides, the feeling of tiredness with which I had risen clung to me throughout the day. I decided to resume my old practice of late rising which, I am sure, ensures health and , I hope, leads to wealth and wisdom.