Poppies

A poem by Victor James Daley

These are the flowers of sleep
That nod in the heavy noon,
Ere the brown shades eastward creep
To a drowsy and dreamful tune,
These are the flowers of sleep.

Love’s lilies are passion-pale,
But these on the sun-kissed flood
Of the corn, that rolls breast deep,
Burn redder than drops of blood
On a dead king’s golden mail.

Heart’s dearest, I would that we
These blooms of forgetfulness
Might bind on our brows, and steep
Our love in Lethe ere less
Grow its flame with thee or me.

When Time with his evil eye
The beautiful Love has slain,
There is nought to gain or keep
Thereafter, and all is vain.
Should we wait to see Love die?

Sweetheart, of the joys men reap
We have reaped; ’tis time to rest.
Why should we wake but to weep?
Sleep and forgetting is best,
These are the flowers of sleep.

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