I wander all night in my vision,
Stepping with light feet, swiftly and noiselessly stepping and
Bending with open eyes over the shut eyes of sleepers,
Wandering and confused, lost to myself, ill-assorted,
gazing, bending, and stopping.
How solemn they look there, stretch'd and still,
How quiet they breathe, the little children in their cradles.
The wretched features of ennuyès, the white features of
corpses, the livid faces of drunkards, the sick-
The gash'd bodies on battle-fields, the insane in their strong-
door'd rooms, the
sacred idiots, the new-born emerging
from gates, and the dying emerging from gates,
The night pervades
them and infolds them.
The married couple sleep calmly in their bed, he with his
palm on the hip of the wife, and she with her
palm on the
hip of the husband,
The sisters sleep lovingly side by side in their bed,
The men sleep lovingly
side by side in theirs,
And the mother sleeps with her little child carefully wrapt.
The blind sleep, and the deaf and dumb sleep,
The prisoner sleeps well in the prison, the runaway son
murderer that is to be hung next day, how does he sleep?
And the murder'd person, how does he sleep?
The female that loves unrequited sleeps,
And the male that loves unrequited sleeps,
The head of the
money-maker that plotted all day sleeps,
And the enraged and treacherous dispositions, all, all sleep.
I stand in the dark with drooping eyes by the worst-suffering
and the most restless,
I pass my hands soothingly
to and fro a few inches from
The restless sink in their beds, they fitfully sleep.
Now I pierce the darkness, new beings appear,
The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful, and I see that what is not the
earth is beautiful.
I go from bedside to bedside, I sleep close with the other
sleepers each in turn,
I dream in my dream all
the dreams of the other dreamers,
And I become the other dreamers.
I am a dance play up there! the fit is whirling me fast!
I am the ever-laughing it is new moon and twilight,
I see the hiding of douceurs, I see nimble ghosts
way I look,
Cache and cache again deep in the ground and sea, and where
it is neither ground
Well do they do their jobs those journeymen divine,
Only from me can they hide nothing, and would not
I reckon I am their boss and they make me a pet besides,
And surround me and lead me
and run ahead when I walk,
To lift their cunning covers to signify me with stretch'd arms,
and resume the
Onward we move, a gay gang of blackguards! with mirth-
shouting music and wild-flapping pennants
I am the actor, the actress, the voter, the politician,
The emigrant and the exile, the criminal that stood
in the box,
He who has been famous and he who shall be famous after
The stammerer, the well-
formed person, the wasted or feeble
I am she who adorn'd herself and folded her hair expectantly,
My truant lover has come, and it is dark.
Double yourself and receive me darkness,
Receive me and my lover too, he will not let me go without