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,

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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,
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And they both slept again.

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

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

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"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,
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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.

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