Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The River Of Sleep - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are curious isles in the River of Sleep,
Curious isles without number.
We'll visit them all as we leisurely creep
Down the winding stream whose current is deep,
In our beautiful barge of Slumber.

The very first isle in this wonderful stream
Quite close to the shore is lying,
And after a supper of cakes and cream
We come to the Night-Mare-Isle with a scream,
And hurry away from it crying.

And next is the Island-of-Lullaby,
And every one there rejoices.
The winds are only a perfumed sigh,
And the birds that sing in the treetops try
To imitate Mothers' voices.

A little beyond is the Isle-of-Dreams;
Oh, that is the place to be straying.
Everything there is just as it seems;
Dolls are real and sunshine gleams,
And no one calls us from playing.

And then we come to the drollest isle,
And the funniest sounds come pouring
Down from its borderlands once in a while,
And we lean o'er our barge and listen and smile;
For that is the Isle-of-Snoring.

And the very last isle in the River of Sleep
Is the sunshiny Isle-of-Waking.
We see it first with our eyes a-peep,
And we give a yawn-then away we leap,
The barge of Slumber forsaking.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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