Stephen Vincent Benet





Evening and Morning

Over the roof, like burnished men, 
The stars tramp high. 
You blink the fire blinks back again 
With a cock's red eye. 
Lay your book away to doze, 
Say your silly prayers, 
See that nothing grabs your toes 
And run upstairs! 

Sandman eyes and heavy head, 
Sleep comes soon, 
Pouring on your quiet bed 
The great, cool moon. 
Nod's green wheel of moss turns round, 
Dripping dreams and peace, 
Gentle as a pigeon's sound, 
Soft as fleece. 

Think of warm sheep shuffling home, 
Stones sunk deep, 
Bees inside a honeycomb 
SleepSleep. 
Smile as when young Una smiled, 
Hard and sweet and gay, 
Bitter saint, fantastic child, 
Fold your wings away. 
Dawn, the owl, is fluttering 
At Day's bright bars. 
Night, the lame man, puttering, 
Puffs out the stars. 
Wake! and hear an airy shout 
Crack the egg of cloud, 

And see the golden bird creep out, 
Ruffling and proud.