When Sleep Sets Free

Beyond the coast of sleep where gleams
The moony hinterland of dreams,
I, sick and sore with being I,
Escaped from earthly entity;
Naked of conscience as an elf,
Cast off the trappings of the self, —
Cast love aside, and hope and fear,
And all the doting flesh held dear,
Became an atom dancing free
Through cosmoramic fantasy,
Yet knew my body waited there
Upon its bed as in a lair
A dozing lion waits its prey;
Knew that my spirit must obey
When sleeping flesh would live again
By spirit's intermingling pain,
And thought how death is lovelier far
Than life in any loveliest star,
Where youth endures a trillion years,
And love is loosed from all its fears, —
Since prisoning forms would still impress
The heritors of the limitless: —
Thought how, if sleep can thus set free
From thralling heliolatry
A waif of earth, and spatial night
Render more exquisite than light,
Then surely, of all hopes that are
Death is the glorious Avatar!
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