“Repose” by Elizabeth Oakes Smith

by Ann Neilson

Repose
Elizabeth Oakes Smith
From Graham’s Magazine, June, 1843, pg. 362.

As some lone pilgrim, weary and o’erspent,
Turns from the dusty way aside, to drink
At some cool fountain on the river’s brink,
And looking back the toilsome path he went
Revives once more the peril and the pain;
And nerveless, shrinking, lives it o’er again,
Till all along the marge he’ll downward sink,
Forgetful of his shrine: the winds may plain,
The wild bud blossom, and the bird go by,
And yet he resteth with his dream-like eye,
Seeing as one who seeth not, so deep
Is his full sense of rest, a needful rest:
So I would linger thus—beguiled to sleep
That is but waking sleep, most grateful to the breast.