Praying for light, and praying all in vain,
Since not one lamp was shining in God's tower;
Praying for strength to bear consuming pain
Yet growing weaker with each passing hour;
Praying for hope the while relentless Fate
Marked out hope's grave, and dug it dark and deep,
My trembling lips at last could formulate
Only a prayer for sleep---forgetting sleep.

That plea was answered. From her silent place
Sleep came and touched me with oblivion:
Yet was that touch robbed of all healing grace:
For when she rose up in the awful dawn
She left but this in answer to my prayer-----
New strength to suffer with renewed despair.

Sonnets of sorrow and triumph. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York: George H. Doran, 1918.

Back to Poem Index