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Richard Francis Burton

(1821 - 1890 / England)

In Sleep


NOT drowsihood and dreams and mere idless,
Nor yet the blessedness of strength regained,
Alone are in what men call sleep. The past,
My unsuspected soul, my parents’ voice,
The generations of my forbears, yea,
The very will of God himself are there
And potent-working: so that many a doubt
Is wiped away at daylight, many a soil
Washed cleanlier, many a puzzle riddled plain.
Strong, silent forces push my puny self
Towards unguessed issues, and the waking man
Rises a Greatheart where a Slave lay down.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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