Amy Lowell





Strain

It is late	
And the clock is striking thin hours,	
But sleep has become a terror to me,	
Lest I wake in the night	
Bewildered,	       
And stretching out my arms to comfort myself with you,	
Clasp instead the cold body of the darkness.	
All night it will hunger over me,	
And push and undulate against me,	
Breathing into my mouth	      
And passing long fingers through my drifting hair.	
Only the dawn can loose me from it,	
And the gray streaks of morning melt it from my side.	
Bring many candles,	
Though they stab my tired brain	       
And hurt it.	
For I am afraid of the twining of the darkness	
And dare not sleep.