They have the courage to work. They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.

They have the courage to work. They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.

I don’t like the man who doesn’t sleep, says God.
Sleep is the friend of man.
Sleep is the friend of God.
Sleep is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have created,
and I myself rested on the seventh day.
He whose heart is pure, sleeps, And he who sleeps has a pure heart.
That is the great secret of being as indefatigable as a child,
of having that strength in legs that a child has.
Those new legs, those new souls,
And to begin afresh every morning, ever new.
Like young hope, new hope.
But they tell me that there are men
Who work well and sleep badly.
Who don’t sleep. What a lack of confidence in me.

I pity them. I have it against them. A little, they don’t trust me.
Like the child who innocently lies in her mother’s arms, thus they do
not lie
Innocently in the arms of my Providence.
They have the courage to work. They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.
To stretch out. To rest. To sleep.
Poor people, they don’t know what is good.
They look after their business very well during the day.

But they haven’t enough confidence in me to let me look after it during the night.
As if I wasn’t capable of looking after it during one night.
He who doesn’t sleep is unfaithful to Hope.
And it is the greatest infidelity.

 

 

Charles Peguy, Basic Verities [New York: Pantheon Books, 1934] 209-11.  // found in the end notes from Eugene Peterson’s Answering God.

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