Madison Julius Cawein

The Sleeper

She sleeps and dreams; one milk-white, lawny arm
 Pillowing her heavy hair, as might cold Night
Meeting her sister Day, with glory warm,
 Subside in languor on her bosom's white.

The naked other on the damask cloth, -
 White, smooth, and light as the light thistle-down,
Or the pink, fairy, fluffy evening moth
 On June-drunk beds of roses red, - lies thrown.

And one sweet cheek, kissed with the enamored moon,
 Grown pale with anger at the liberty.
While, dusk in darkness, at the favor shown
 The pouting other frowns still envity.

Hangs fall'n in folds the rich, dark covering,
 With fretfulness thrust partly from her breast;
As through storm-broken clouds the moon might spring,
 From this the orb of one pure bosom prest.

She sleeps; and where the silent moonbeams sink
 Thro' diamond panes, - soft as a ghost of snow, -
In wide, white jets, the lion-fur seems to drink
 With tawny jaws its wasted, winey glow.

Light-lidded sleep and holy dreams to her,
 Unborn of feverish sorrow or of care,
Soft as the gust that makes the arras stir,
 Tangling gold moonbeams in her fragrant hair.

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