At the time of night prayer, as the sun slides down,

the route the senses walk on closes, the route to the invisible opens.


The angel of sleep then gathers and drives along the spirits;

just as the mountain keeper gathers his sheep on a slope.


And what amazing sights he offers to the descending sheep!

Cities with sparkling streets, hyacinth gardens, emerald pastures.


The spirit sees astounding beings, turtles turned to men,

men turned to angels, when sleep erases the banal.


I think one could say the spirit goes back to its old home;

it no longer remembers where it lives, and loses its fatigue.


It carries around in life so many griefs and loads and trembles under their weight; they are going, it is all well.



(translated by Robert Bly)

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