SLEEP'S TREACHERY

As the grey twilight, tiptoed down the deep
    And shadowy valley, to the day's dark end,
    She whom I thought my ever-faithful friend,
Fair-browed, calm-eyed and mother-bosomed Sleep,
Met me with smiles. 'Poor longing heart, I keep
    Sweet joy for you,' she murmured. 'I will send
    One whom you love, with your own soul to blend
In visions, as the night hours onward creep.'

I trusted her; and watched by starry beams,
    I slumbered soundly, free from all alarms.
       Then not my love, but one long banished came,
Led by false Sleep, down secret stairs of dreams
    And clasped me, unresisting in fond arms.
       Oh, treacherous sleep--to sell me to such shame!

Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911.


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