Published on Academy of American Poets (

Winter Sleep

I know it must be winter (though I sleep)—  
I know it must be winter, for I dream  
I dip my bare feet in the running stream,  
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep.  
I know I must be old (how age deceives!)
I know I must be old, for, all unseen,  
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green  
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves.  
I know I must be tired (and tired souls err)—  
I know I must be tired, for all my soul
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll,  
As storms the riven pine to music stir.  
I know I must be dying (Death draws near)—  
I know I must be dying, for I crave  
Life—life, strong life, and think not of the grave,
And turf-bound silence, in the frosty year.


This poem is in the public domain.


Edith Matilda Thomas

Edith Matilda Thomas was born in Ohio in 1854. Her collections include A Winter Swallow (1896) and Fair Shadow Land (1893). She died in 1925.

Date Published: 1896-01-01

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