David Lewis Paget
The Watcher - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The change in his habits was hard to define,
He thought, getting older, had shortened his time,
Less time to waste sleeping, for rest or respite,
From eight hours to six hours, to four hours at night.
He'd sit up late working, and not watch the clock
At midnight he'd vaguely hear something tick-tock,
But still would sit up with his eyes full of rue
And not get to bed until one, maybe two.
Awake before dawn he would feel some relief,
That death had not squandered his life in his sleep,
And though he was tiring, he wouldn't give in,
Began to see sleeping as some kind of sin.
Then down to an hour, and then to a half
He ended up napping short time by the hearth,
Five minutes would pass, he'd be fully awake
When under his chair he would feel the earth quake.
And when his eyes opened and looked to the skies
He'd see giant gimbals above the sunrise,
That held the earth spinning in place like a top
A gyroscope, seeming it never would stop.
Then in the dark hours when all were asleep,
He'd see all the monsters come out for a peep,
Come out from their hidings in forest and glen
Whenever they hadn't to fear meeting men.
They'd play in the shallows, they'd play in the streams,
They'd dash in and out of the sleeping mens dreams,
They'd laugh and they'd frolic up high in the trees,
And wave in the branches with every slight breeze.
And sometimes they'd argue, and sometimes they'd fight,
Hip-hopping from one to the other all night,
They'd not see the watcher, awake in his den
For monsters see horrors in all kinds of men.
The world would return to the way it had been
Before men came begging, and made it unclean,
With meadows and grotto's and magical spells,
And hedgerows and sedge rows and woods of bluebells.
He sat there in wonder, and watched the full flight
Of worlds unimagined that came out each night,
And suddenly death was the least he would fear
If death would come dreaming and carry him here.
The watcher relaxed and he fell sound asleep
He slept for eight hours with never a peep,
And when he awoke with the rise of the sun,
He wept in his sorrow, what sleep had undone.
21 January 2015
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