Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SLEEPING AND WAKING, by JANE BARLOW



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SLEEPING AND WAKING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: She said to herself - 'twas a girl ranging / pleasaunce and lawn
Last Line: Where desire of all hearts dwelleth deep in a dream of the dream.
Subject(s): Dreams; Night; Shadows; Sleep; Waking; Nightmares; Bedtime


SHE said to herself—'twas a girl ranging pleasaunce and lawn,
Her eyes clear and bright with sweet fancies because she was young,
And, singing, heard echoes in answer of songs never sung,
And saw past the sunset strange portals of morrows to dawn—

She said to herself of a while: 'Pity 'tis to be sleeping,
For slumber brings silence and shadow, though softly it fall.
What are dreams? Not an hour of my day would I change for them all.'
For how could she tell her delight lay in one dream's keeping?

She said to herself—an old woman just creeping about,
Adrowse like the flies half-waked that stir in a wintry sun,
With only a sigh for her songs, and her good days all done,
And long beams withered low on the west, and long shades stolen out—

She said to herself oftentimes: 'Pity 'tis to be waking,
So chill grows this sorrowful world for the weary and old;
Better dream, that a wraith of my lost I may haply behold'—
For how should she reck of a dream beyond slumber's breaking?

Yet one of her days, though it darken, bereft of a gleam,
Black-omened with hauntings of fear, of the last hope forsaken,
If an old, old woman should sleep, and a girl should awaken,
Where desire of all hearts dwelleth deep in a dream of the Dream.





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