The City of Sleep

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

("The Brushwood Boy" -- The Day's Work)

Over the edge of the purple down,
  Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
  That is hard by the Sea of Dreams --
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
  And the sick may forget to weep?
But we -- pity us! Oh, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
  Fetter and prayer and plough --
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
  For her gates are closing now.
It is their right in the Baths of Night
  Body and soul to steep,
But we -- pity us! ah, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!

Over the edge of the purple down,
  Ere the tender  dreams begin,
Look -- we may look -- at the Merciful Town,
  But we may not enter in!
Outcasts all, from her guarded wall
  Back to our watch we creep:
We -- pity us! ah, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We that go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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