Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
II. Rest
When we are all asleep
By Robert Buchanan (1841–1901)
WHEN He returns, and finds all sleeping here—
  Some old, some young, some fair, and some not fair,
Will He stoop down and whisper in each ear
  ‘Awaken!’ or for pity’s sake forbear,—
  Saying, ‘How shall I meet their frozen stare        5
Of wonder, and their eyes so woebegone?
  How shall I comfort them in their despair,
If they cry out “too late! let us sleep on”?’
Perchance He will not wake us up, but when
  He sees us look so happy in our rest,        10
Will murmur, ‘Poor dead women and dead men!
  Dire was their doom, and weary was their quest.
Wherefore awake them unto life again?
  Let them sleep on untroubled—it is best.’

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