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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

Slumber Song

By Elisabeth Cavazza

COME, sweet Sleep, from afar—

Not with footsteps that delay,

For thy wool-soft sandals are

Over-slow upon their way.

On thy floating dusky hair

Wreaths of poppies thou dost set,

That we mortals may forget

Waking hours and all their care.

From afar, come, sweet Sleep!

Come, sweet Sleep, on a steed,

One that weareth golden wings,

That on asphodel doth feed

And doth drink at heavenly springs.

Ride not through the ivory gate,

Come to us through gates of horn,

Bring good dreams made true at morn,

Even though the morn be late.

On thy steed, come, sweet Sleep!

Gentle Sleep, weave a wreath

Of thy drowsiest poppy flowers,

Bind it over and beneath

The incessant fleeting hours.

Set thy lips against their face,

Whisper to them, light and low,

Plead for us before they go

That they stay a little space.

Weave a wreath, gentle Sleep!

Haste thee, Sleep, do not wait,

For the night is near its noon:

Thou wilt find us over-late

So thou dost not seek us soon.

For the cock begins to crow

At the earliest beam of light;

Then with every other sprite,

Thou, a gentle ghost, must go.

Do not wait, haste thee, Sleep!

Take us, Sleep, on thy horse—

As a mother, journeying,

Holds her babe and on her course

Lullaby doth softly sing.

Let thine hair fall round thy face

Veiling visions in thine eyes,

Carry us to Paradise

At thy steed’s most quiet pace.

On thy horse, take us, Sleep!