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A Book Of Dreams
by [?]

She lies in a watered valley;
Her garden melts away
Through foot-path and curving alley
Into the wild wood grey.
And the green of the vale goes creeping
To the feet of the rugged hills,
Where the moveless rocks are keeping
The homes of the wandering rills.

And the hues of the flowers grow deeper,
Till they dye her very brain;
And their scents, like the soul of a sleeper,
Wander and waver and rain.
For dreams have a wealth of glory
That daylight cannot give:
Ah God! make the hope a story–
Bid the dreams arise and live.

She lay and gazed at the flowers,
Till her soul’s own garden smiled
With blossom-o’ershaded bowers,
Great colours and splendours wild.
And her heart filled up with gladness,
Till it could only ache;
And it turned aside to sadness,
As if for pity’s sake.

And a fog came o’er the meadows,
And the rich hues fainting lay;
Came from the woods the shadows,
Came from the rocks the grey.
And the sunset thither had vanished,
Where the sunsets always go;
And the sounds of the stream were banished,
As if slain by frost and snow.

And the flowers paled fast and faster,
And they crumbled fold on fold,
Till they looked like the stained plaster
Of a cornice in ruin old.
And they blackened and shrunk together,
As if scorched by the breath of flame,
With a sad perplexity whether
They were or were not the same.

And she saw herself still lying,
And smiling on, the while;
And the smile, instead of dying,
Was fixed in an idiot smile.
And the lady arose in sorrow
Out of her sleep’s dark stream;
But her dream made dark the morrow,
And she told me the haunting dream.

Alas! dear lady, I know it,
The dream that all is a dream;
The joy with the doubt below it
That the bright things only seem.
One moment of sad commotion,
And one of doubt’s withering rule–
And the great wave-pulsing ocean
Is only a gathered pool.

And the flowers are spots of painting,
Of lifeless staring hue;
Though your heart is sick to fainting,
They say not a word to you.
And the birds know nought of gladness,
They are only song-machines;
And a man is a skilful madness,
And the women pictured queens.

And fiercely we dig the fountain,
To know the water true;
And we climb the crest of the mountain,
To part it from the blue.
But we look too far before us
For that which is more than nigh;
Though the sky is lofty o’er us,
We are always in the sky.

And the fog, o’er the roses that creepeth,
Steams from the unknown sea,
In the dark of the soul that sleepeth,
And sigheth constantly,
Because o’er the face of its waters
The breathing hath not gone;
And instead of glad sons and daughters,
Wild things are moaning on.

When the heart knows well the Father,
The eyes will be always day;
But now they grow dim the rather
That the light is more than they.
Believe, amidst thy sorrows,
That the blight that swathes the earth
Is only a shade that borrows
Life from thy spirit’s dearth.

God’s heart is the fount of beauty;
Thy heart is its visible well;
If it vanish, do thou thy duty,
That necromantic spell;
And thy heart to the Father crying
Will fill with waters deep;
Thine eyes may say, Beauty is dying;
But thy spirit, She goes to sleep.