Sleep’s Treachery by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

As the grey twilight, tiptoed down the deep
And shadowy valley, to the day’s dark end,
She whom I thought my ever-faithful friend,
Fair-browed, calm-eyed and mother-bosomed Sleep,
Met me with smiles. ‘Poor longing heart, I keep
Sweet joy for you,’ she murmured. ‘I will send
One whom you love, with your own soul to blend
In visions, as the night hours onward creep.’

I trusted her; and watched by starry beams,
I slumbered soundly, free from all alarms.
Then not my love, but one long banished came,
Led by false Sleep, down secret stairs of dreams
And clasped me, unresisting in fond arms.
Oh, treacherous sleep–to sell me to such shame!

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