A Variation on “To Say to Go to Sleep”
Adapted from Rainer Maria Rilke
by Randall Jarrell
If I could, I would sing you to sleep.
I would give you my hand to keep
In yours till you fell asleep,
And take it away then, slowly.
I would sit by you and be.
In the world the dark would be deep.
I would watch. And at last I would sleep.
But if rain should star the stream
Of your sleep, I would whisper: “See
You are asleep”; and slowly,
Your breath would change in your dream
Till, ages and ages deep
In the dark, you would say to me:
“I love you.”
I love you,
But I am here always. Sleep now. Sleep.