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The Sleeper

Written by: Walter de la Mare | Biography
 | Quotes (2) |
 As Ann came in one summer's day, 
She felt that she must creep, 
So silent was the clear cool house, 
It seemed a house of sleep. 
And sure, when she pushed open the door, 
Rapt in the stillness there, 
Her mother sat, with stooping head, 
Asleep upon a chair; 
Fast -- fast asleep; her two hands laid 
Loose-folded on her knee, 
So that her small unconscious face 
Looked half unreal to be: 
So calmly lit with sleep's pale light 
Each feature was; so fair 
Her forehead -- every trouble was 
Smooth'd out beneath her hair. 

But though her mind in dream now moved, 
Still seemed her gaze to rest 
From out beneath her fast-sealed lids, 
Above her moving breast, 
On Ann, as quite, quite still she stood; 
Yet slumber lay so deep 
Even her hands upon her lap 
Seemed saturate with sleep. 
And as Ann peeped, a cloudlike dread 
Stole over her, and then, 
On stealthy, mouselike feet she trod, 
And tiptoed out again.