“Daybreak”

At dawn she lay with her profile at that angle 
Which, when she sleeps, seems the carved face of an angel. 
Her hair a harp, the hand of a breeze follows 
And plays, against the white cloud of the pillows. 
Then, in a flush of rose, she woke and her eyes that opened 
Swam in blue through her rose flesh that dawned. 
From her dew of lips, the drop of one word 
Fell like the first of fountains: murmured 
‘Darling’, upon my ears the song of the first bird. 
‘My dream becomes my dream,’ she said, ‘come true. 
I waken from you to my dream of you.’ 
Oh, my own wakened dream then dared assume 
The audacity of her sleep. Our dreams 
Poured into each other’s arms, like streams.


Stephen Spender

A Barred Owl

The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.

—Richard Wilbur (apologies)