The Sandman
Preludes & Nocturnes


The Sandman Library

Preludes & Nocturnes
The Doll's House
Dream Country
Season of Mists
A Game of You
Fables & Reflections
Brief Lives
World's End
The Kindly Ones
The Wake

"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living... for the price of wisdom is above rubies."

(The Book of Job, Chapter 28, verses 12, 13, 18)

Sleep of the Just





RODERICK BURGESS: I give you coin I made from a stone. I give you a song I stole from the dirt. I give you a knife from under the hills, and a stick that I stuck through a dead man's eye. I give you a claw I ripped from a rat. I give you a name, and the name is Lost. I give you blood from out of my vein, and a feather I pulled from an angel's wing. I call you with names, of my lord, of my lord. I summon with poison and summon with pain. I open the way and I open the gates.

Sleep of the Just





How long can a boy go without sleeping? When do the nightmares sneak out into the daylight?

Sleep of the Just





MORPHEUS: Home. It feels so good to be back... I left a monarch. Yet I return naked, alone... Hungry. Weakened, I clutch a passing dream...

Sleep of the Just





MORPHEUS: Can you have any idea what it was like? Can you have any idea? Confined in a glass box for three score years and ten. A human lifetime. Time moves no faster for my kind than it does for humanity, and in prison it crawled at a snail's pace. I was... I am... the lord of this realm of dream and nightmare.

You -- your father -- piped me down with this petty hedge-magicking, his twopenny spell... Me. You did that to me. You barred me from my realm with your foolish circle... You threatened, cajoled and pleaded for gifts are neither mankind's to receive nor mine to give. You had no thought for the harm you have brought to your world...

Lord, what fools these mortals be.

Sleep of the Just





MAN: We didn't want you. It was all a mistake. We weren't trying to capture you. We wanted to capture Death.

MORPHEUS: WHAT? You wanted Death? Then count yourself lucky for the sake of your species and your petty planet that you did not succeed...

Sleep of the Just





JOHN DEE: I would have dreamed of you... if I could dream.

Imperfect Hosts





MORPHEUS: Beyond, outside my Dreamworld there is infinite dust, infinite dark. And the Dreamworld is infinite although it is bounded on every side. The way to the center is a slow spiral. One passes the houses of mystery and secrets... old way stations on the frontiers of nightmare. From there one charts a course nightward until one reaches the Gates of Horn and Ivory. I carved them myself, when the world was younger, and order was needed. I hasten to the Gates.

The dreams that pass through the gates of Ivory are lies, figments and deceptions. The other admits the truth. No one guards the horned gate anymore. I remember the way of old. Once through it I can see my castle. Through it I will be able to see... my home...

Imperfect Hosts





LUCIEN: It's been a strange century for all of us...

Imperfect Hosts





MORPHEUS: The Dreamworld, the Dreamtime, and Unconscious -- call it whatever you will -- is as much part of me as I am part of it. And for the first time since my return, for the first time in 70 years, I reach out my substance... and I shape the world...

Imperfect Hosts





MORPHEUS: Witch Queen, you know of my imprisonment, of my travail of the time that was stolen from me --

MAIDEN: They have stolen time from you? What of that? You have all the time that ever was!

Imperfect Hosts





MORPHEUS: What could possibly go wrong?

Imperfect Hosts





JOHN CONSTANTINE: And I can see the clouds. They look kind of solid. And the ground below them. That looks really solid. It's a long way to fall. And I'm falling... I don't want to die. I don't want to fall. I tell myself it's not the fall, falling doesn't hurt... it's when you stop.

Dream a Little Dream of Me





JOHN CONSTANTINE: So. Where are you going now?

MORPHEUS: To hell...

JOHN CONSTANTINE: Hehhh. Aren't we all, mate? Aren't we all?

Dream a Little Dream of Me





MORPHEUS: For the hundredth time since I regained it, I reach into the pouch and I touch the sand. I sift it through my fingers. Feel each grain of it, inexhaustible. Endless. Like myself, like the few others of my kind. Endless. Tonight I feel alone. I have always been solitary, but here on the nightward shores of dream, loneliness washes over me in waves, lapping and pulling at my spirit. I sprinkle sand into the waters of night. The grains burn as they fall, reminding me of another in times long passed away. I watched him even then as he fell, his face undefeated, his eyes still proud. It is time for me to walk the abyss. Time to reclaim my own. I must talk to the Morningstar.

I do not have high hopes for the meeting.

A Hope in Hell





SQUATTERBLOAT: And who might you be?

MORPHEUS: I have many names. But I am the King of Dreams, of the Nightmare Realms...

A Hope in Hell





MORPHEUS: Never trust a demon. He has a hundred motives for anything he does... Ninety-nine of them, at least, are malevolent.

A Hope in Hell





LUCIFER: Some years ago, the Dark, the shadow creature, came forth to challenge heaven. The episode ended in... perhaps a stalemate. But the civil war in hell that ensued tipped the precarious balance of power. We rule in coalition now. Azazel, Beelzebub and I.

MORPHEUS: Hell, a triumvirate? Things change indeed.

A Hope in Hell





BEELZUBUB: Which demon, zzen? Name it and we will bbbbring it here.

AZAZEL: There are more than a million demons, after all.

MORPHEUS: I do not know the demon's name.

LUCIFER: Then let us summon all of them to tell, and meet them on the vasty plains of hell.

A Hope in Hell





CHORONZON: I am a dire world, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.

MORPHEUS: I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.

CHORONZON: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter-throwing.

MORPHEUS: I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight legged.

CHORONZON: I am a snake, spider-devouring, posion-toothed.

MORPHEUS: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy footed.

CHORONZON: I am an anthrax, butcher, bacterium, warm-life destroying.

MORPHEUS: I am a world, space-floating, life nurturing.

CHORONZON: I am a nova, all-exploding... planet-cremating.

MORPHEUS: I am the Universe -- all things encompassing, all life embracing.

CHORONZON: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

MORPHEUS: I am hope.

A Hope in Hell





MORPHEUS: I thank you. The kings of Hell are honorable. I will remember this.

LUCIFER: Honorable? You joke, surely. Look around you, Morpheus. The million Lords of Hell stand arrayed about you. Tell us why we should let you leave? Helmet or no, you have no power here... what power have dreams in hell?

MORPHEUS: You say I have no power? Perhaps you speak truly... But -- you say that Dreams have no power here? Tell me, Lucifer Morningstar.. Ask yourselves, all of you... What power would Hell have if those here imprisoned were not able to dream of Heaven?

A Hope in Hell





MORPHEUS: I am a passenger. I am moving through your dreams. I am riding in your dreams. I ride on dragonback from Manhattan, the dragon is made of rivetted iron and smells of cotton candy. I travel briefly by bus: in the back the dreamer copulates desperately, not noticing his autonomous passenger. I sit at the front and talk to the driver. Approaching the state of Delaware, the dreamer is a small dog, dreaming impatiently of a past life, long forgotten when he sailed tall ships across uncharted. The salt spray of the ocean stings my face. I am moving through dreams, pulling toward Mayhew, feeling for the jewel. Through your dreams, my sleeping children, You had a passenger, and you never knew.

Passengers





JOHN DEE: Hello, Miss. I would like a cup of coffee while I wait.

BETTE MUNROE: Sure, hon. That'll be fifty cents. Uh... What are you you waiting for?

JOHN DEE: Oh, you know, the usual. The end of the world.

Passengers





All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows when to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories -- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death.

24 Hours





Listen to the anguish of a world in which the bad things are coming out of the dark places. Listen to a world in pain. Listen. You can hear it.

Sound and Fury





MORPHEUS: Kill me? I see. If you would fight me, mortal, you will not take me unprepared... nor garbed for less than battle. And you shall not do it here. If you would steal a dreamlord's power... then you shall steal it in the dreamlord's realm. In dreams.

Sound and Fury





JONATHAN CRANE: "It is a comfort in wretchedness to have companions in woe.' (Marlowe, Faust)

Sound and Fury





DEATH: What are you doing?

MORPHEUS: Feeding the pigeons.

DEATH: You do that too much, you know what you get? FAT PIGEONS! That's a line from "Mary Poppins."

The Sound of Her Wings





MORPHEUS: I was more powerful than I had been in eons. I returned the human to the madhouse... You see, until then, I'd been driven. I'd had a true quest, a purpose beyond my function -- and then, suddenly, the quest was over. I felt... drained. Disappointed. Let down. Does that make sense? I had been sure that as soon as I had everything back I'd feel good. But inside I felt worse than when I started. I feel like... nothing.

The Sound of Her Wings





DEATH: ... gets me down, too. Mostly they aren't too keen to see me. They fear the sunless lands but they enter your realm each night without fear.

MORPHEUS: And I am far more terrible than you, my sister.

The Sound of Her Wings





MORPHEUS: I find myself wondering about humanity. Their attitude to my sister's gift is so strange. Why do they fear the sunless lands? It is as natural to die as it is to be born. But they fear her. Dread her. Feebly they attempt to placate her. They do not love her.

Many thousands of years ago I heard a song in a dream, a mortal song that celebrated her gift. I still remember it... That forgotten poet understood her gifts. My sister has a function to perform, even as I do. The Endless have their responsibilities. I have responsibilities.

I walk by her side and the darkness lifts from my soul. I walk with her, and I hear the gentle beating of mighty wings...

The Sound of Her Wings





MORPHEUS: There is much to do in my kingdom. Much to restore. Much to create. I have found the solace I sought, though not in the way I imagined. From dreams I conjure a handful of yellow grain. I throw the grain into the air. And I hear it. The sound of wings.

The Sound of Her Wings








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