Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
 
Old Lizette on Sleep
 
Agnes Lee
 
 
BED is the boon for me!
It’s well to bake and sweep,
But hear the word of old Lizette:
It’s better than all to sleep.
 
Summer and flowers are gay,        5
And morning light and dew;
But aged eyelids love the dark
Where never a light peeps through.
 
What!—open-eyed, my dears?
Thinking your hearts will break.        10
There’s nothing, nothing, nothing, I say,
That’s worth the lying awake!
 
I learned it in my youth—
Love I was dreaming of!
I learned it from the needle-work        15
That took the place of love.
 
I learned it from the years
And what they brought about;
From song, and from the hills of joy
Where sorrow sought me out.        20
 
It’s good to dream and turn,
And turn and dream, or fall
To comfort with my pack of bones,
And know of nothing at all!
 
Yes, never know at all!        25
If prowlers mew or bark,
Nor wonder if it’s three o’clock
Or four o’clock of the dark.
 
When the longer shades have fallen
And the last weariness        30
Has brought the sweetest gift of life,
The last forgetfulness.
 
If a sound as of old leaves
Stir the last bed I keep,
Then say, my dears: “It’s old Lizette—        35
She’s turning in her sleep!”
 

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