Stephen Vincent Benet





In a Glass of Water Before Retiring

Now the day 
Burns away. 
Most austere 
Night is here 
Time for sleep. 

And, to sleep, 
If you please, 
For release 
Into peace, 
Think of these. 

Snails that creep, 
Silver-slow; 
Streams that flow, 
Murmuring, 
Murmuring; 
Bells that chime, 
Sweet clear c-o-o-1; 
Of a pool 
Hushed so still 
Stars drowse there, 
Sleepy-fair; 
Of a hill 

Drenched with night, 
Drowned with moon's 
Lovely light; 
Of soft tunes, 
Played so slow, 
Kind and low, 
You sink down, 
Into down, 
Into rest, 

Into the perfect whiteness, 
The drowsy, drowsy lightness, 
The warm, clean, sleepy feathers of a 
slumbering bird's white breast.