Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Annals of Sleep

I was very tired last night, so the subject of today’s poem is sleep, both as physical fatigue, but also as a metaphor (as in “the weary spirit”). The poem is culled from a good many verses of the Hebrew Bible, although they are so interwoven that some, at least, will be hard to spot. But here is one example, which the sharp reader may spot:

Job_7:4 When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag; I toss all night and long for dawn.

Unfortunately, I could not find a place for this saying, which I rather like!

Ecc_4:11 If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself

So here are “the annals of sleep...”

The Annals of Sleep

Now pray for peace, for peace in the land:
When all can walk freely hand in hand;
Sleep without fear, sleep without war,
Behold, the dreamer at slumber’s door;
A nightmare came, disturbed my sleep,
Fear and trembling, awake worries keep;
When I lie to sleep, the hours dragging on:.
Visions of madness, of the seer called John;
I toss and turn all night, and long for dawn:
Dream of Narnia’s winter, the Witch and Faun,
In a world of danger, a world full of dread,
And my only hope is the world of the dead;
Where I will lie down, a final sleep in the dark:
No morning light, dawn chorus, song of the lark;
I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone:
Dust to dust, even crumbling at the last, bone;
But those who sleep in death will also be raised:
The promise of the Maker, oh, let her be praised!
And the time will come to wake up from my sleep,
The Bringer of Joy comes, an appointment to keep;
A time to refresh those who are weary, those tired:
The times of hope, times to wake, and to be inspired;
Those who trust in the Maker will find strength anew:
Like a breath of life, like ceaseless wind, she blew;
And her followers will rise on wings like eagles in flight,
They will wake from darkness, and come into the light;
They will run, and not get weary, walk and not grow weak,
And when the night is dark, and the world looks so bleak,
Come to me, all of you who are tired, and I will give you rest:
And she says, come follow me, along the paths of the blest!

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