Behind the Arras: A Book of the Unseen

by Bliss Carman


The Sleepers


THE tall carnations down the garden walks
Bowed on their stalks.

Said Jock-a-dreams to John-a-nods,
"What are the odds
That we shall wake up here within the sun,

When time is done,
And pick up all the treasures one by one
Our hands let fall in sleep?" "You have begun
To mutter in your dreams,"
Said John-a-nods to Jock-a-dreams,

And they both slept again.

The tall carnations in the sunset glow
Burned row on row.

Said John-a-nods to Jock-a-dreams,

"To me it seems
A thousand years since last you stirred and spoke,
And I awoke.
Was that the wind then trying to provoke
His brothers in their blessed sleep?" "They choke,

Who mutter in their nods,"
Said Jock-a-dreams to John-a-nods.
And they both slept again.

The tall carnations only heard a sigh
Of dusk go by.