Sleep And Death.

Robert Crawford FRSE FBA is a Scottish poet, scholar and critic. He is currently Professor of English at the University of St Andrews.






Sleep puts sin by, as the grave life's despair;
And though bad dreams in sleep may come, the soul
Is tainted not with error, being then
Beyond the body's shade, as in a sphere
Like that to which death may remove us when
The flesh itself is past pollution too.
It is the waking thought that we must answer,
When the whole man is up, and the will has play;
Not any drowsy essence that contrives
As with an ultramundane faculty
To act within us when the reason's gone,
And that, our temporal government, laid aside,
Our kingdom is left open, as it were,
Without a deputy, to all the worlds,
Whose mystic coursers may by stealth enact
Their wills upon us.

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