In vision of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed—
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
That holy dream—that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered as a lovely beam,
A lonely spirit guiding.
What thought that light, thro' storm and night,
So trembled from afar—
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth's day-star?
* * * * * * *
OH! That my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! though that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
'Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion from his birth.
But should it be— that dream eternally
Continuing—as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood—should it thus be given,
'Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revelled when the sun was bright
I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light
And loveliness,— have left my very heart
Inclines of my imaginary apart *
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought—what more could I have seen?
'Twas once—and only once—and that wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass—some power
Or spell had bound me—'twas the chilly wind
Came o'er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit—or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly—or the stars—howe'er it was
That dream was that night-wind—let it pass.
I have been happy—and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of paradise and Love—and all my own!—
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour has known.
[* De editor van het book met onder meer Poe's
Poems is van mening dat in deze regel zou moeten
staan: In climes of my imagining apart?]
* * * * * * *
A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet, if hope has flown away
In a night or in a day,
In a vision or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see of seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand—
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers through the deep,
While I weep—while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
(19-01-1809 — 7-10-1849)