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Wales

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No. 26 Summer 1947

Sleep, my bed was his. Poem to the paraclete. The exiles

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Sleep, my Bed was his
I KNOW that when I was a girl,
The old woman said,
I tried to elude the tyrant .Sleep
Who followed me to bed
So I could live the mirror life
By which my heart was fed.
I plaited in my fantasies
The ravelled rags of day
But, meeting a lover in the mist, a pit
Would open at my feet,
So jealous Sleep would thwart
Me, pluck my joy away.
And in the end he won me. I was his
Yes, through to my bone, my bone.
The dizzy afternoon hung like a cloud
Between us, sluggish hours of evening flowed
As silted rivers loop,
Until we were alone.
Then dams burst: my veins ran wide, they filled
With him, with him I drowned.
And that great canopy of sea
We sank through, wrapped us round
In deeps no dream could rock nor we
By time or touch be found.
Yet even there that wail that shocks
The night would find my ear
And drag me shuddering from the sand sea bed
Up to the forests where
A python froze with fear
One of the children. Sleep, my lover, stayed
Under the water there.
Crooked one, I do the wooing now,
Now I am old.
Through the winter nights I twist
Alone in these cold
White sheets. I will not buy his touted love,
Yet know where it is sold.
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