Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > Picture-Show
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Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967).  Picture-Show.  1920.

33. Falling Asleep


VOICES moving about in the quiet house: 
Thud of feet and a muffled shutting of doors: 
Everyone yawning. Only the clocks are alert. 
  
Out in the night there’s autumn-smelling gloom 
Crowded with whispering trees; across the park         5
A hollow cry of hounds like lonely bells: 
And I know that the clouds are moving across the moon; 
The low, red, rising moon. Now herons call 
And wrangle by their pool; and hooting owls 
Sail from the wood above pale stooks of oats.  10
  
Waiting for sleep, I drift from thoughts like these; 
And where to-day was dream-like, build my dreams. 
Music ... there was a bright white room below, 
And someone singing a song about a soldier, 
One hour, two hours ago: and soon the song  15
Will be ‘last night’: but now the beauty swings 
Across my brain, ghost of remembered chords 
Which still can make such radiance in my dream 
That I can watch the marching of my soldiers, 
And count their faces; faces; sunlit faces.  20
  
Falling asleep ... the herons, and the hounds.... 
September in the darkness; and the world 
I’ve known; all fading past me into peace. 


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