Monday Morning Poetry – The Sacrament of Sleep

I know it’s been a few weeks since I last posted a poem on Monday morning. Why? Two reasons: 1) Early one Monday morning I was flying to Florida, and 2) the other Monday morning I was flying back to Iowa. Easy enough.

For this week’s edition of MMP, I chose “The Sacrament of Sleep” by John Oxenham.

Thank God for sleep!
And, when you cannot sleep,
Still thank Him that you live
To lie awake.
And pray Him, of His grace,
When He sees fit, sweet sleep to give,
That you may rise, with new-born eyes,
To look once more into His shining face.

In sleep, — limbs all loose-laxed and slipt the chains —
We draw sweet-close to Him from whom our breath
Has life. In His sole hands we leave the reins,
In fullest faith trust Him for life or death.

This sleep in life close kinsman is to death;
And, as from sleep we wake to greet the day,
So, too, from death we shall with joy awake
To greet the glories of the Great Essay.

To His belov’d new life in sleep He gives,
And, unto all, awakening from sleep.
Each day is resurrection, — a new birth
To nearer heaven and re-created earth, —
To all Life’s possibilities — of good
Or ill, — with joys and woes endued, —
Till that last, shortest sleep of all,
And that first great awakening from Life’s thrall.

Thank God for sleep!
And, when you cannot sleep,
Still thank Him for the grace
That lets you live
To feel the comfort of His soft embrace.

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