Over the edge of the purple down,
   Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
   That is hard by the Sea of Dreams –
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
   And the sick may forget to weep?
But we – pity us! Oh, pity us!
   We wakeful; ah, pity us! –
We must go back with Policeman Day –
   Back from the City of Sleep!
 
Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
   Fetter and prayer and plough –
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
   For her gates are closing now.
It is their right in the Baths of Night
   Body and soul to steep,
But we – pity us! ah, pity us!
   We wakeful; oh, pity us! –
We must go back with Policeman Day –
   Back from the City of Sleep!
 
Over the edge of the purple down,
   Ere the tender dreams begin,
Look – we may look – at the Merciful Town,
   But we may not enter in!
Outcasts all, from her guarded wall
   Back to our watch we creep:
We – pity us! ah, pity us!
   We wakeful; ah, pity us! –
We that go back with Policeman Day –
   Back from the City of Sleep!

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned just how much deeper your understanding of a poem is when you memorize it than when you just read it a couple of times, and how you understand it a little better every single time you recite it."
Alex Hanesworth
2015 WA POL Champion