To Sleep
       Dear fool, be true to me!
I know the poets speak thee fair, and I
       Hail thee uncivilly.
O but I call with a more urgent cry!
       I do not prize thee less,
I need thee more, that thou dost love to teach—
       Father of foolishness—
The imbecile dreams clear out of wisdom’s reach.
       Come and release me; bring
My irresponsible mind; come in thy hours;
       Draw from my soul the sting
Of wit that trembles, consciousness that cowers.
       For if night comes without thee
She is more cruel than day. But thou, fulfil
       Thy work, thy gifts about thee—
Liberty, liberty, from this weight of will.
       My day-mind can endure
Upright, in hope, all it must undergo.
       But O afraid, unsure,
My night-mind waking lies too low, too low.
       Dear fool, be true to me!
The night is thine, man yields it, it beseems
       Thy ironic dignity.
Make me all night the innocent fool that dreams.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 14, 2001; not revised.