Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  We Lay us Down to Sleep

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

We Lay us Down to Sleep

By Louise Chandler Moulton (1835–1908)

WE lay us down to sleep,

And leave to God the rest.

Whether to wake and weep

Or wake no more be best.

Why vex our souls with care?

The grave is cool and low,—

Have we found life so fair

That we should dread to go?

We’ve kissed love’s sweet, red lips,

And left them sweet and red:

The rose the wild bee sips

Blooms on when he is dead.

Some faithful friends we’ve found,

But they who love us best,

When we are under ground,

Will laugh on with the rest.

No task have we begun

But other hands can take:

No work beneath the sun

For which we need to wake.

Then hold us fast, sweet Death,

If so it seemeth best

To Him who gave us breath

That we should go to rest.

We lay us down to sleep,

Our weary eyes we close:

Whether to wake and weep

Or wake no more, He knows.