Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

WHEN to soft Sleep we give ourselves away,

And in a dream as in a fairy bark

Drift on and on through the enchanted dark

To purple daybreak—little thought we pay

To that sweet bitter world we know by day.

We are clean quit of it, as is a lark

So high in heaven no human eye can mark

The thin swift pinion cleaving through the gray.

Till we awake ill fate can do no ill,

The resting heart shall not take up again

The heavy load that yet must make it bleed;

For this brief space the loud world’s voice is still,

No faintest echo of it brings us pain.

How will it be when we shall sleep indeed?