Sleep! Oh glorious palliative
for daily care. Bringer of comfort
to those ground down by toil and strife
ease to the bruised and broken heart.
The mother rising for a third time
in a single night, as her child wails
and sees the dawn breaking once more
cries out inwardly for sweet Sleep.
The insomniac whose eyes burn,
and body aches with weariness,
curses and loves Sleep, courts and spurns
his fickle lover both by turns.
Heart-ache is sweet Sleep’s enemy
and yet Sleep soothes the wounded heart.
Brings comforting oblivion
and passing ease from grief and loss.
Sleep, cruelly shunned by busy folk
and replaced with coffee, deceitful
and enticing mistress who claims
to be a substitute. Yet Sleep
forgives and takes us in her arms,
when coffee can no longer turn
aside grasping, dull weariness.
Sleep, unvalued by those who sleep
well, uninterrupted and calm
yet treasure beyond rubies to
those who cannot close weary eyes.
Gentle but capricious goddess,
comforter and tormenter both,
I beg you to return to me,
and take me once again into your arms.
I am so tired. That is all.