Monday, December 26, 2016

SLEEP, a poem

To "the Child in us that trembles before death."—Plato.

SAY, hast thou never been compelled to lie
     Wakeful in Night's impenetrable deep,
     Counting the laggard moments that so creep
Reluctant onward; till, with voiceless cry
Enduring, thou hadst willing been to fly
     From Life itself, and in oblivion steep
     Thy tortured senses? To such longed-for sleep
Death is a way; and dost thou fear to die?

Nay, were it this, just this, and naught beside—
     Merely the calm that we have anguished for,
The wayfarer might still be glad to hide
     From grief and suffering!—but how much more
Is Death—Life's servitor and friend—the guide
     That safely ferries us from shore to shore!
"Sleep" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Athenaeum (26 December 1914) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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