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A Book Of Dreams
by [?]

I rose in peace, in comfort went,
And laid me down to rest;
But straight my soul grew confident
With gladness of the blest.

For ere the sleep that care redeems,
My soul such visions had,
That never child in childhood’s dreams
Was more exulting glad.

No white-robed angels floated by
On slow, reposing wings;
I only saw, with inward eye,
Some very common things.

First rose the scarlet pimpernel,
With burning purple heart;
I saw it, and I knew right well
The lesson of its art.

Then came the primrose, childlike flower;
It looked me in the face;
It bore a message full of power,
And confidence, and grace.

And winds arose on uplands wild,
And bathed me like a stream;
And sheep-bells babbled round the child
Who loved them in a dream.

Henceforth my mind was never crossed
By thought of vanished gold,
But with it came the guardian host
Of flowers both meek and bold.

The loss is riches while I live,
A joy I would not lose:
Choose ever, God, what Thou wilt give,
Not leaving me to choose.

“What said the flowers in whisper low,
To soothe me into rest?”
I scarce have words–they seemed to grow
Right out of God’s own breast.

They said, God meant the flowers He made,
As children see the same;
They said the words the lilies said
When Jesus looked at them.

And if you want to hear the flowers
Speak ancient words, all new,
They may, if you, in darksome hours,
Ask God to comfort you.


Our souls, in daylight hours, awake,
With visions sometimes teem,
Which to the slumbering brain would take
The form of wondrous dream.

Thus, once, I saw a level space,
With circling mountains nigh;
And round it grouped all forms of grace,
A goodly company.

And at one end, with gentle rise,
Stood something like a throne;
And thither all the radiant eyes,
As to a centre, shone.

And on the seat the noblest form
Of glory, dim-descried;
His glance would quell all passion-storm,
All doubt, and fear, and pride.

But lo! his eyes far-fixed burn
Adown the widening vale;
The looks of all obedient turn,
And soon those looks are pale.

For, through the shining multitude,
With feeble step and slow,
A weary man, in garments rude,
All falteringly did go.

His face was white, and still-composed,
Like one that had been dead;
The eyes, from eyelids half unclosed,
A faint, wan splendour shed.

And to his brow a strange wreath clung,
And drops of crimson hue;
And his rough hands, oh, sadly wrung!
Were pierced through and through.

And not a look he turned aside;
His eyes were forward bent;
And slow the eyelids opened wide,
As towards the throne he went.

At length he reached the mighty throne,
And sank upon his knees;
And clasped his hands with stifled groan,
And spake in words like these:–

“Father, I am come back–Thy will
Is sometimes hard to do.”
From all the multitude so still,
A sound of weeping grew.

And mournful-glad came down the One,
And kneeled, and clasped His child;
Sank on His breast the outworn man,
And wept until he smiled.

And when their tears had stilled their sighs,
And joy their tears had dried,
The people saw, with lifted eyes,
Them seated side by side.


I lay and dreamed. Three crosses stood
Amid the gloomy air.
Two bore two men–one was the Good;
The third rose waiting, bare.

A Roman soldier, coming by,
Mistook me for the third;
I lifted up my asking eye
For Jesus’ sign or word.