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Poems About Dreams

Table of Contents

Life Dreams

  1. Mighty Things by Annette Wynne
  2. My Little Dreams by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  3. The Dreamer by Oscar H. Roesner
  4. Ah, great it is to believe by Edwin Markham
  5. He Had His Dream by Laurence Dunbar
  6. He Who Has Vision by Folger McKinsey
  7. The nearest dream recedes, unrealized by Emily Dickinson
  8. The Garden of Dreams by Bliss Carman
  9. Columbus by Helen L. Smith
  10. Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy
  11. The Cedar Chest by Christopher Morley
  12. Love's Coming by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  13. A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
  14. The Acorn and the Oak by Ella Maxwell Haddox
  15. A Sea-Change by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  16. The Door of Dreams by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  17. A Quaker Maid by James B. Kenyon
  18. A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
  19. Let Me Not Lose My Dream by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  20. Calling Dreams by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  21. The Dreams of the Dreamer by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  22. Resolution by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  23. The Heart of a Woman by Georgia Douglas Johnson

Dreams While Sleeping

  1. Dreams by Emily Dickinson
  2. Behind Each Star by Annette Wynne
  3. "Only In Sleep" by Sara Teasdale
  4. Sometimes by Thomas S. Jones, Jr.
  5. The Dream Rock by Ruby Archer
  6. Transformation by Amos Russel Wells
  7. Night and Morning by Katharine Lee Bates
  8. Child Life by Mary E. Tucker
  9. What is This? by Hannah Flagg Gould
  10. Under the Stars by William Stanley Braithwaite
  11. The Mariner's Dream by William Dimond
  12. The Little Boy to the Cricket by Hannah Flagg Gould
  13. To make a prairie by Emily Dickinson
  14. "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold" by Bliss Carman
  15. Why Fades a Dream by Laurence Dunbar
  16. The Dream by Madison Cawein
  17. The Dream by Hannah Flagg Gould
  18. On Dreams by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott
  19. An Old Man's Dreams by Eliza M. Sherman
  20. A Secret by John Charles McNeill
  21. After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost
  22. The Shepherd of the Flock of Dreams by William Stanley Braithwaite
  23. Wherefore? by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  24. The Dream by Grace Hazard Conkling
  25. Dream Land by Christina Rossetti
  26. I Dreamt and In My Dreams by Florence Kellett
  27. A Dream by Annette Wynne

Life Dreams

  1. Mighty Things

    by Annette Wynne

    Iron, steel, and granite rock are mighty things, I deem,
    But the strongest thing in all the world is just a dream;
    Dreams built a house, and built a bridge, a ship to go afar,
    And God's dream made the earth and us and every rolling star.

  2. My Little Dreams

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    I'm folding up my little dreams
    Within my heart tonight,
    And praying I may soon forget
    The torture of their sight.

    For time's deft fingers scroll my brow
    With fell relentless art—
    I'm folding up my little dreams
    Tonight, within my heart.

  3. The Dreamer

    Deny me the vision, I perish;
    Rob me of dream and I die;
    Life void of vision and dreaming
    Is life without sun in the sky.

    - Oscar H. Roesner
    The Dreamer
    by Oscar H. Roesner

    Deny me the vision, I perish;
    Rob me of dream and I die;
    Life void of vision and dreaming
    Is life without sun in the sky.

    Oh, blind my rapt eyes in your hatred,
    Submerge me with want and cold care,
    But so long as you leave me my dreaming
    I'll laugh at the demon despair.

    No dungeon was dark enough ever
    To bar me from beauty and light,
    So long as I still have my dreaming,
    My soul will not wander in night.

    So leave me the dream, I beseech you—
    Though it seem but wraithlike and frail—
    For if I be guided by vision,
    I dare against all things prevail.

  4. Ah, great it is to believe

    by Edwin Markham

    Ah, great it is to believe the dream
    As we stand in youth by the starry stream;
    But a greater thing is to fight life through
    And say at the end, the dream came true!

  5. He Had His Dream

    He saw through every cloud a gleam —
    He had his dream.

    - Paul Laurence Dunbar
    He Had His Dream
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    He had his dream, and all through life,
    Worked up to it through toil and strife.
    Afloat fore'er before his eyes,
    It colored for him all his skies:
    The storm-cloud dark
    Above his bark,
    The calm and listless vault of blue
    Took on its hopeful hue,
    It tinctured every passing beam —
    He had his dream.

    He labored hard and failed at last,
    His sails too weak to bear the blast,
    The raging tempests tore away
    And sent his beating bark astray.
    But what cared he
    For wind or sea!
    He said, "The tempest will be short,
    My bark will come to port."
    He saw through every cloud a gleam —
    He had his dream.

    Dully falls the steady rain.
    Broken drops in line oblique
    Fling themselves across the pane—
    Of shattered dreams they sadly speak.

    – Ruby Archer
    Falls the Rain
  6. He Who Has Vision

    He who has the vision sees more than you or I;
    He who lives the golden dream lives fourfold thereby;

    - Folger McKinsey
    He Who Has Vision
    by Folger McKinsey

    He who has the vision sees more than you or I;
    He who lives the golden dream lives fourfold thereby;
    Time may scoff and worlds may laugh, hosts assail his thought,
    But the visionary came ere the builders wrought;
    Ere the tower bestrode the dome, ere the dome the arch,
    He, the dreamer of the dream, saw the vision march!

    He who has the vision hears more than you may hear,
    Unseen lips from unseen worlds are bent unto his ear;
    From the hills beyond the clouds messages are borne,
    Drifting on the dews of dream to his heart of morn;
    Time awaits and ages stay till he wakes and shows
    Glimpses of the larger life that his vision knows!

    He who has the vision feels more than you may feel,
    Joy beyond the narrow joy in whose realm we reel—
    For he knows the stars are glad, dawn and middleday,
    In the jocund tide that sweeps dark and dusk away,
    He who has the vision lives round and all complete,
    And through him alone we draw dews from combs of sweet.

    Where there is no vision the people perish.

    – Proverbs 29:17
    The Bible, KJV

  7. The nearest dream recedes, unrealized

    The heaven we chase
    Like the June bee
    Before the school-boy
    Invites the race;

    - Emily Dickinson
    The nearest dream recedes, unrealized
    by Emily Dickinson

    The nearest dream recedes, unrealized.
    The heaven we chase
    Like the June bee
    Before the school-boy
    Invites the race;
    Stoops to an easy clover —
    Dips — evades — teases — deploys;
    Then to the royal clouds
    Lifts his light pinnace
    Heedless of the boy
    Staring, bewildered, at the mocking sky.

    Homesick for steadfast honey,
    Ah! the bee flies not
    That brews that rare variety.

  8. The Garden of Dreams

    My heart is a garden of dreams
    Where you walk when day is done,
    Fair as the royal flowers,
    Calm as the lingering sun.

    - Bliss Carman
    The Garden of Dreams
    by Bliss Carman

    My heart is a garden of dreams
    Where you walk when day is done,
    Fair as the royal flowers,
    Calm as the lingering sun.

    Never a drouth comes there,
    Nor any frost that mars,
    Only the wind of love
    Under the early stars,—

    The living breath that moves
    Whispering to and fro,
    Like the voice of God in the dusk
    Of the garden long ago.

  9. Columbus

    You dreamed the dreams that manhood years made true;
    Thank God for men—their deeds have crowned the ages—
    Who once were little dreamy lads like you.

    - Helen L. Smith
    by Helen L. Smith

    A harbor in a sunny, southern city;
    Ships at their anchor, riding in the lee;
    A little lad, with steadfast eyes, and dreamy,
    Who ever watched the waters lovingly.

    A group of sailors, quaintly garbed and bearded;
    Strange tales, that snared the fancy of the child:
    Of far-off lands, strange beasts, and birds, and people,
    Of storm and sea-fight, danger-filled and wild.

    And ever in the boyish soul was ringing
    The urging, surging challenge of the sea,
    To dare,—as these men dared, its wrath and danger,
    To learn,—as they, its charm and mystery.

    Columbus, by the sunny, southern harbor,
    You dreamed the dreams that manhood years made true;
    Thank God for men—their deeds have crowned the ages—
    Who once were little dreamy lads like you.

  10. Ode

    by Arthur O'Shaughnessy

    We are the music-makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
    Wandering by lone sea-breakers
    And sitting by desolate streams;
    World losers and world forsakers,
    On whom the pale moon gleams:
    Yet we are the movers and shakers
    Of the world for ever, it seems.

    With wonderful deathless ditties
    We build up the world’s great cities.
    And out of a fabulous story
    We fashion an empire’s glory:
    One man with a dream, at pleasure,
    Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
    And three with a new song’s measure
    Can trample an empire down.

    We, in the ages lying
    In the buried past of the earth,
    Built Nineveh with our sighing,
    And Babel itself with our mirth;
    And o’erthrew them with prophesying
    To the old of the new world’s worth;
    For each age is a dream that is dying,
    Or one that is coming to birth.

  11. The Cedar Chest

    by Christopher Morley

    Her mind is like her cedar chest
    Wherein in quietness do rest
    The wistful dreamings of her heart
    In fragrant folds all laid apart.

    There, put away in sprigs of rhyme
    Until her life's full blossom-time,
    Flutter (like tremulous little birds)
    Her small and sweet maternal words.

  12. Love's Coming

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    She had looked for his coming as warriors come,
    With the clash of arms and the bugle's call;
    But he came instead with a stealthy tread,
    Which she did not hear at all.

    She had thought how his armor would blaze in the sun,
    As he rode like a prince to claim his bride:
    In the sweet dim light of the falling night
    She found him at her side.

    She had dreamed how the gaze of his strange, bold eye
    Would wake her heart to a sudden glow:
    She found in his face the familiar grace
    Of a friend she used to know.

    She had dreamed how his coming would stir her soul,
    As the ocean is stirred by the wild storm's strife:
    He brought her the balm of a heavenly calm,
    And a peace which crowned her life.

  13. A Dream Within a Dream

    by Edgar Allan Poe

    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 or 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 to 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?

  14. The Acorn and the Oak

    by Ella Maxwell Haddox

    Within the damp and clinging earth,
    Where darkness spans a world unseen,
    An acorn dreamed; and, dreaming, saw
    Blue skies and forests green.

    It dreamed of light, where all was gloom;
    It dreamed of strength, where none prevailed
    Save that which held the dream, when dark
    And threatening powers assailed.

    It saw itself an oak, whose crest
    From Morn's first blush a halo caught;
    In whose broad boughs the weary birds
    At eve a shelter sought.

    And as in hopefulness it dreamed.
    The unbelieving earth made room;
    And, powerless to repress, did haste
    To friendliness assume.

    Thou, too, dream on, O Soul! and let
    Not things which seem thy faith undo;
    For All of Life concerns itself
    To make thy dream come true.

  15. A Sea-Change

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    Once in a year of wonder
    I brought to you a dream,
    And all your waves gave back to me
    Only its gleam.

    But now I come again, O Sea,
    Under a changing sky,
    And all your waves lie gray and still
    As dreams that die.

  16. The Door of Dreams

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    I often passed the Door of Dreams
    But never stepped inside,
    Though sometimes, with surprise, I saw
    The door was open wide.

    I might have gone forever by,
    As I had done before,
    But one day, when I passed, I saw
    You standing in the door.

  17. A Quaker Maid

    by James B. Kenyon

    She sits beneath the trellised vine
    Beside the open door;
    Warm arabesques of sunlight shine
    Along the checkered floor.

    Her busy needles wink and glance
    As still her task she plies;
    By bordered walks the midges dance;
    Above, the swallow flies.

    Her face is calm; her eyes are meek;
    About her smooth young throat,
    And lightly blown o'er either cheek,
    The silken tendrils float.

    Beneath the snow-white kerchief spread
    Across her placid breast,
    Unvexed by change or darkling dread,
    Her spirit lies at rest.

    Peace is her world; no thought of ill,
    Nor breath of sordid strife,
    E'er taints the pure desires that fill
    Her cool hushed round of life.

    Afar the city roars; there sweeps
    The long white way that gleams
    For other feet; she sits and keeps
    Alone her quiet dreams.

  18. A Dream

    by Edgar Allan Poe

    In visions 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 me as a lovely beam
    A lonely spirit guiding.

    What though that light, thro' storm and night,
    So trembled from afar—
    What could there be more purely bright
    In Truth's day-star?

Dreams While Sleeping

  1. Dreams

    by Emily Dickinson

    Let me not mar that perfect dream
    By an auroral stain,
    But so adjust my daily night
    That it will come again.

  2. Behind Each Star

    by Annette Wynne

    Behind each star a small dream hides
    But will not show its head,
    Unless you're very, very good—
    And fast asleep in bed.

  3. "Only In Sleep"

    by Sara Teasdale

    Only in sleep I see their faces,
    Children I played with when I was a child,
    Louise comes back with her brown hair braided,
    Annie with ringlets warm and wild.

    Only in sleep Time is forgotten—
    What may have come to them, who can know?
    Yet we played last night as long ago,
    And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair.

    The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
    I met their eyes and found them mild—
    Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
    And for them am I too a child?

  4. Sometimes

    by Thomas S. Jones, Jr.

    Across the fields of yesterday
    He sometimes comes to me,
    A little lad just back from play—
    The lad I used to be.

    And yet he smiles so wistfully
    Once he has crept within,
    I wonder if he hopes to see
    The man I might have been.

  5. The Dream Rock

    by Ruby Archer

    Amid a rushing mountain stream
    A giant boulder stands.
    Bright gems of mica o'er it gleam,
    And on its breast I love to dream
    With mosses in my hands.

    The hours flow softly o'er my soul,
    More light and swift than foam;
    And while the ceaseless torrents roll,
    Wild fancies rise from stream and knoll,
    And elfin through my vision roam.

    They are so fair, and yet so fleet,
    I cannot hold their garments fine.
    They fade while yet I cry, "Stay, Sweet!"
    A farewell glance is all I meet—
    An archly murmured, "Not yet thine!"

  6. Transformation

    by Amos Russel Wells

    There's a garden far in Fancy
    Where the sweetest flowers grow
    Where a subtle necromancy
    Weaves again all ancient woe,—

    Tears it up and weaves it over
    Into blossoms of delight,
    Daisies, violet, and clover,
    Royal roses, lilies white.

    There the ugly shape of sorrow
    Softly curves and brightly gleams,
    In the garden of to-morrow,
    In the certainty of dreams.

  7. Night and Morning

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    The night was loud with tumult; trees were torn
    Sheer from their roots by the delirious wind;
    In some waste dreamland wandered all forlorn
    A smitten soul, bewildered, broken, blind.

    The mists had lifted; evanescent gleams
    Of tender emerald lighted every leaf,
    While from a casement smiled, escaped from dreams,
    A quiet face made exquisite by grief.

  8. Child Life

    I woke, and the sun newly born, grand and bright,
    Had flooded my room, and my soul with its light.

    - Mary E. Tucker
    Child Life
    by Mary E. Tucker

    Like the cadence of an old love song,
    Borne on a zephyr's wings along,
    and dying,
    Then sounding again,
    Touching the heart with its mournful strain,
    Tearing my soul from its worldly strife,
    Came a dream or vision of life, child-life.

    Methought the heart of a child stood bare,
    And I saw all human passions there,
    and surging
    Like waters grand,
    Hurled by the mælstrom's mighty hand,
    While the billows dashed with a sullen sound,
    And scattered the foaming spray around.

    'Twas a tiny seed in its embryo state,
    Yet I saw there the germs of love and hate —
    and hating!
    Together they stood,
    Strange that the evil should rest by the good!
    Oh! would that to mortals was granted the meed
    To cherish the flower, but pluck out the weed!

    Faith, Hope and Charity, all were there,
    Ambition, revenge, dark revenge, and despair,
    and wondering,
    I touched a small sore,
    And the heart of the child was enveloped in gore.
    'Twas a slight disappointment that brought forth the blood,
    For a sire's broken promise disturbed the deep flood.

    Ah! I covered my eyes to shut out the sad sight,
    For the face of the child was as dark as the night
    and praying
    That knowledge to find
    A rest for the weary, a balm for the mind.
    With Faith I looked up, and the child's face was fair;
    Hope's flower had blossomed through blood and by prayer.

    And as the dream-vision was passing away,
    Through the deep silence reigning I heard a voice say,
    and believe,
    Thou, a mother of youth,
    Oh! doubt not this vision, thou knowest its truth!
    Thou knowest that virtues and passions are rife
    In the beautiful morning of life, child-life.

    Beware how thou touchest its heart cords wrong,
    For the virtues are weak and the vices are strong.
    and tenderly,
    Wake the sweet strain,
    Touch pleasure and peace, and no discord will reign.
    Thou hast seen, oh my daughter, that each child of earth
    Doth emulate manhood, yes, e'en at its birth.

    Then deal with it lovingly, let the dream last,
    When comes a deep sorrow, the child-life is past.
    and sweetly —
    Like light falling rain,
    Then dying away as Æolian strain,
    The dream-vision vanished,
    I heard still the voice,
    Group no longer in darkness, in thy knowledge rejoice.
    I woke, and the sun newly born, grand and bright,
    Had flooded my room, and my soul with its light.

  9. What is This?

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Am I dreaming? what is this?
    Is it anguish?—is it bliss?
    'T is a mingling of the twain;
    Doubtful joy, and certain pain;
    Feeble gleams of morning light
    Playing through the shades of night!
    Ah! the same unconscious wing
    Wafts the honey and the sting!

    Quickly passing from the view
    Of the mind, that's fleeting too,
    What a vast and varied crowd!
    Bridal vesture; funeral shroud;
    Robes of honor; weeds of wo;
    Oh! the wearers, how they go!
    Scarce a glimpse of each is caught,
    Ere the vision turns to nought.

    Well! and is there nothing more,
    When the busy dream is o'er?
    Ay? 't is truth the waking brings;
    'T is a world of real things:—
    Nothing transient, nothing mixed;
    All is clear, and all is fixed.
    Be it anguish, be it bliss,
    'T is no changing scene, like this!

    Then, thou slumbering soul, awake!
    Let these earthly baubles break,
    Let the mildew blight the tree!
    Here's no fruit to nourish thee.
    Up! and from the ruins haste;
    Look not back upon the waste!
    Up! and fasten on the prize,
    That is offered from the skies!

  10. Under the Stars

    O what can the stars desire,
    And what can the night fulfil,
    Of a thousand thoughts on fire
    That burns on my soul's high hill

    - William Stanley Braithwaite
    Under the Stars
    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    I take my soul in my hand,
    I give it, a bounding ball
    (Over Love's sea and land),
    For you to toss and let fall
    At command.

    Dear, as we sit here together —
    Silence and alternate speech,
    Dreams that are loose from the tether,
    Stars in an infinite reach
    Of dark ether:

    Over and under and through
    Silence and stars and the dreams,
    How my emotions pursue,
    With a still passion that teems
    Full of you.

    O what can the stars desire,
    And what can the night fulfil,
    Of a thousand thoughts on fire
    That burns on my soul's high hill
    Like a pyre.

    Does the flame leap upward, Where
    God feels — and heat makes human,
    Pity, in His heart —a snare
    To win worship for a woman

    If He made all Time for this,
    O beloved, shall we not dare
    To crown His dream with a kiss,
    While each new-born star makes fair
    Night's abyss?

  11. The Mariner's Dream

    by William Dimond

    In slumbers of midnight the sailor boy lay;
    His hammock swung loose at the sport of the wind;
    But watch-worn and weary, his cares flew away,
    And visions of happiness danced o'er his mind.

    He dreamed of his home, of his dear native bowers,
    And pleasures that waited on life's merry morn;
    While Memory each scene gayly covered with flowers,
    And restored every rose, but secreted the thorn.

    Then Fancy her magical pinions spread wide,
    And bade the young dreamer in ecstasy rise;
    Now, far, far behind him the green waters glide,
    And the cot of his forefathers blesses his eyes.

    The jessamine clambers in flowers o'er the thatch,
    And the swallow chirps sweet from her nest in the wall;
    All trembling with transport, he raises the latch,
    And the voices of loved ones reply to his call.

    A father bends o'er him with looks of delight;
    His cheek is impearled with a mother's warm tear;
    And the lips of the boy in a love kiss unite
    With the lips of the maid whom his bosom holds dear.

    The heart of the sleeper beats high in his breast;
    Joy quickens his pulses,—all his hardships seem o'er;
    And a murmur of happiness steals through his rest,—
    "O God! thou hast blest me,—I ask for no more."

    Ah! whence is that flame which now bursts on his eye?
    Ah! what is that sound that now 'larums his ear?
    'T is the lightning's red glare painting hell on the sky!
    'T is the crashing of thunders, the groan of the sphere!

    He springs from his hammock,—he flies to the deck;
    Amazement confronts him with images dire;
    Wild winds and mad waves drive the vessel a wreck;
    The masts fly in splinters; the shrouds are on fire.

    Like mountains the billows tremendously swell;
    In vain the lost wretch calls on Mercy to save;
    Unseen hands of spirits are ringing his knell,
    And the death angel flaps his broad wings o'er the wave!

    O sailor boy, woe to thy dream of delight!
    In darkness dissolves the gay frostwork of bliss!
    Where now is the picture that Fancy touched bright,—
    Thy parents' fond pressure, and love's honeyed kiss?

    O sailor boy! sailor boy! never again
    Shall home, love, or kindred, thy wishes repay;
    Unblessed and unhonored, down deep in the main,
    Full many a fathom, thy frame shall decay.

    No tomb shall e'er plead to remembrance for thee,
    Or redeem form or fame from the merciless surge;
    But the white foam of waves shall thy winding sheet be,
    And winds in the midnight of winter thy dirge.

    On a bed of green sea flowers thy limbs shall be laid,—
    Around thy white bones the red coral shall grow;
    Of thy fair yellow locks threads of amber be made,
    And every part suit to thy mansion below.

    Days, months, years, and ages shall circle away,
    And still the vast waters above thee shall roll;
    Earth loses thy pattern forever and aye;
    O sailor boy! sailor boy! peace to thy soul!

  12. The Little Boy to the Cricket

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    I have thee now! my brisk new-comer,
    Sounding thy lay to departing Summer;
    And I'll take thee up from thy bed of grass,
    And carry thee home to a house of glass;
    Where thy slender limbs and the faded green
    Of thy close-made coat can all be seen.
    For I long to know if the cricket sings,
    Or plays the tune with his gauzy wings;
    To bring that shrill-toned pipe to light,
    Which kept me awake so long, last night,
    That I told the hours by the lazy clock,
    Till I heard the crow of the noisy cock;
    When, tossing and turning, at length I fell
    To a sleep so strange, that the dream I'll tell.

    Methought, on a flowery bank I lay,
    By a beautiful stream; and watched the play
    Of the sparkling waters, that fled so fast,
    I could not count the waves that passed.
    But I marked the things they were carrying by;
    And a neat little skiff first caught my eye.
    'T was woven of reeds, and its sides were bound
    By a tender vine, that had clasped it round;
    And spreading within, had made it seem
    A basket of leaves, borne down by the stream:
    And the skiff had neither sail nor oar;
    But a bright little boy stood up, and bore,

    On his out-stretched hands, a wreath so gay,
    It looked like a crown for the queen of May.
    And while he was going, I heard him sing,
    "Seize the garland of passing Spring!"
    But I dared not reach—for the bank was steep;
    And he bore it away to the far-off deep!

    Then came a lady—her eye was bright—
    She was young and fair; and her bark was light.
    Its mast was a living tree, that spread
    Its boughs for a sail, o'er the lady's head;
    And some of the fruits had just begun
    To flush, on the side that was next the sun;
    And some with the crimson streak were stained,
    While others their size had not yet gained.
    She said, as she passed—"Oh! who can insure
    The fruits of Summer to get mature?
    For, fast as the waters beneath me, flowing,
    Beyond recall, I'm going! I'm going!"

    I turned my eye, and beheld another,
    That seemed as she might be Summer's mother.
    She looked more grave; and her cheek was tinged
    With a deeper brown; her bark was fringed
    With the tasseled heads of the wheaten sheaves
    Along its sides—and the yellow leaves,
    That covered the deck, concealed a throng
    Of crickets,—I knew by their choral song.
    At Autumn's feet lay the golden corn,
    And her hands were raised to invert a horn,

    That was filled with a sweet and mellow store,
    And the purple clusters were hanging o'er.
    She bade me seize on the fruit, that should last,
    When the harvest was gone, and Autumn had past!
    But, when I had paused to make the choice,
    I saw no bark! and I heard no voice!

    Then, I looked on a sight that chilled my blood;
    'T was a mass of ice, where an old man stood
    On his frozen raft; while his shriveled hand
    Had clinched, as a staff by which to stand,
    A whitened branch that the blast had broke
    From the lifeless trunk of an aged oak.
    The icicles hung from the naked limb,
    And the old man's eye was sunk and dim.
    But his scattering locks were silver bright,
    And his beard with the gathering frost was white.
    The tears congealed on his furrowed cheek,
    His garb was thin, and the winds were bleak.
    He faintly uttered, while drawing near,
    "Winter, the death of the short-lived year,
    Can yield thee nought, as I downward tend
    To the boundless sea, where the seasons end.
    But I trust from others, who've gone before,
    Thou 'st clothed thy form, and supplied thy store;
    And now, what tidings am I to bear
    Of thee,—for I shall be questioned there?"

    I asked my mother, who o'er me bent,
    What all this show of the seasons meant?
    She said 't was a picture of life, I saw;
    And the useful moral myself must draw!

    I awoke—and found that thy song was stilled,
    And the sun with his beams my room had filled!
    But I think, my cricket, I long shall keep
    In mind the dream of my morning sleep!

  13. To make a prairie

    by Emily Dickinson

    To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
    One clover, and a bee,
    And revery.
    The revery alone will do
    If bees are few.

  14. "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold"

    Now the solitary star
    Lays a path on meadow streams,
    And I know it is not far
    To the open door of dreams.

    - Bliss Carman
    "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold"
    by Bliss Carman

    Now the lengthening twilights hold
    Tints of lavender and gold,
    And the marshy places ring
    With the pipers of the spring.

    Now the solitary star
    Lays a path on meadow streams,
    And I know it is not far
    To the open door of dreams.

    Lord of April, in my hour
    May the dogwood be in flower,
    And my angel through the dome
    Of spring twilight lead me home.

  15. Why Fades a Dream

    Now the solitary star
    Lays a path on meadow streams,
    And I know it is not far
    To the open door of dreams.

    - Bliss Carman
    "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold"
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Why fades a dream?
    An iridescent ray
    Flecked in between the tryst
    Of night and day.
    Why fades a dream? —
    Of consciousness the shade
    Wrought out by lack of light and made
    Upon life's stream.
    Why fades a dream?

    That thought may thrive,
    So fades the fleshless dream;
    Lest men should learn to trust
    The things that seem.
    So fades a dream,
    That living thought may grow
    And like a waxing star-beam glow
    Upon life's stream —
    So fades a dream.

  16. The Dream

    by Madison Cawein

    This was my dream:
    It seemed the afternoon
    Of some deep tropic day; and yet the moon
    Stood round and bright with golden alchemy
    High in a heaven bluer than the sea.
    Long lawny lengths of perishable cloud
    Hung in a west o'er rolling forests bowed;
    Clouds raining colours, gold and violet,
    That, opening, seemed from mystic worlds to let
    Hints down of Parian beauty and lost charms
    Of dim immortals, young, with floating forms.
    And all about me fruited orchards grew,
    Pear, quince and peach, and plums of dusty blue;

    Rose-apricots and apples streaked with fire,
    Kissed into ripeness by the sun's desire
    And big with juice. And on far, fading hills,
    Down which it seemed a hundred torrent rills
    Flashed rushing silver, vines and vines and vines
    Of purple vintage swollen with cool wines;
    Pale pleasant wines and fragrant as late June,
    Their delicate tang drawn from the wine-white moon.
    And from the clouds o'er this sweet world there dripped
    An odorous music, strangely feverish-lipped,
    That swung and swooned and panted in mad sighs;
    Investing at each throb the air with eyes,
    And forms of sensuous spirits, limpid white,
    Clad on with raiment as of starry night;
    Fair, faint embodiments of melody,
    From out whose hearts of crystal one could see
    The music stream like light through delicate hands
    Hollowing a lamp. And as on sounding sands
    The ocean murmur haunts the rosy shells,
    Within whose convolutions beauty dwells,
    My soul became a vibrant harp of love,
    Re-echoing all the harmony above.

  17. The Dream

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    I dreamed, and 't was a lovely, blessed dream,
    That I again my native hills had found,
    The mossy rocks, the valley, and the stream
    That used to hold me captive to its sound.

    I was a child again—I roamed anew
    About my early haunts, and saw the whole
    That fades, with waking memory, from the view
    Of this mysterious thing we call the soul

    A very child, again beside the brook,
    I made my puny hand a cup to dip
    Among the sparkling waters, where I took
    Its hollow full and brought it to my lip.

    And oh! that cooling draught I still can taste,
    And feel it in the spirit and the flesh.
    'T is like a fount, that in the desert waste
    Leaps out, the weary pilgrim to refresh.

    The spice of other days was borne along,
    From shrub and forest, on the balmy breeze;
    I heard my warbling wild bird's tender song
    Come sweet and thrilling through the rustling trees.

    All was restored, as in the sunny day
    When I believed my little, rural ground
    The centre of the world, whose limits lay
    Just where the bright horizon hemmed it round.

    And she, who was my sister then, but now,
    What she may be, the pure immortals know,
    Who, round the throne of the Eternal bow,
    And bathe in glory veiled from all below.

    But she was there, who, with her riper years,
    Once walked, the guardian of my infant feet;
    Drew from my hand the thorn, wiped off my tears,
    And brought fresh flowers to deck our grassy seat.

    I saw her cheek with life's warm current flushed;
    Clung to the fingers that used to hold;
    Heard the loved voice that is for ever hushed;
    And felt the form that long ago was cold.

    All I have been and known, in all the years
    Since I was sporting in that cherished spot,
    My hopes, my joys, my wishes and my tears,
    As only dreamings, were alike forgot.

    'T was this that made my dream so blest and bright,
    And me the careless thing that I was then.
    Yet, Time, I would not now reverse thy flight,
    And risk the running of my race again.

    The fairest joys that struck their roots in earth
    I would not rear again, to bloom and fade!
    I've had them once, in their ideal worth;
    Their height I've measured, and their substance weighed.

    Nor those, who sleep in peace, would I awake
    To have their hearts with time's delusions filled;
    The seal, that God has set, I would not break;
    Nor call the voice to lips that he has stilled.

    And yet I love my dream—'t was very sweet
    To be among my native hills again;
    Where my light heart was borne by infant feet,
    The careless, blissful creature I was then!

    Whene'er I think of it, the warm tears roll,
    Uncalled, and unforbidden, down my cheek;
    But not for joy, or sorrow. O my soul,
    Thy nature, power, or purpose, who can speak?

  18. On Dreams

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    When sleep on downy pinions finds repose,
    Then all the mental powers their force begin,
    Moments are days, such thoughts our dreams enclose,
    And all the rounds of life are reckoned in.

    With magic flight we every land explore,
    And visit realms in fancy's wide domain,
    We cull the fruit from autumn's favorite store,
    While images forgot teturn again.

    Cold winter's blast may fall in storms of snow,
    And unregarded lie in this repose,
    Where nought but summer zephyrs gently flow,
    Among the violets where the dreamer goes.

    The days fly swiftly in an hour of dreams,
    We banquet with our friends, we journey, sleep,
    We plan, we execute our favorite schemes,
    While midnight vigils all these projects keep.

    We wake, and smile, and say, 'twas all a dream,
    We scarcely moralize upon the past;
    But could we give to life its real name,
    I think 'twould well compare with dreams at last.

    As vain as dreams, are all our hopes, below,
    Of happiness, which ne'er makes good her name,
    But leaves an aching void in all, to show
    That truth and wisdom are her only claim.

  19. An Old Man's Dreams

    by Eliza M. Sherman

    It was the twilight hour;
    Behind the western hill the sun had sunk,
    Leaving the evening sky aglow with crimson light.
    The air is filled with fragrance and with sound;
    High in the tops of shadowy vine-wreathed trees,
    Grave parent-birds were twittering good-night songs,
    To still their restless brood.
    Across the way
    A noisy little brook made pleasant
    Music on the summer air,
    And farther on, the sweet, faint sound
    Of Whippoorwill Falls rose on the air, and fell
    Like some sweet chant at vespers.
    The air is heavy
    With the scent of mignonette and rose,
    And from the beds of flowers the tall
    White lilies point like angel fingers upward,
    Casting on the air an incense sweet,
    That brings to mind the old, old story
    Of the alabaster box that loving Mary
    Broke upon the Master's feet.

    Upon his vine-wreathed porch
    An old white-headed man sits dreaming
    Happy, happy dreams of days that are no more;
    And listening to the quaint old song
    With which his daughter lulled her child to rest:

    "Abide with me," she says;
    "Fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens,—
    Lord, with me abide."

    And as he listens to the sounds that fill the
    Summer air, sweet, dreamy thoughts
    Of his "lost youth" come crowding thickly up;
    And, for a while, he seems a boy again.
    With feet all bare
    He wades the rippling brook, and with a boyish shout
    Gathers the violets blue, and nodding ferns,
    That wave a welcome from the other side.
    With those he wreathes
    The sunny head of little Nell, a neighbor's child,
    Companion of his sorrows and his joys.
    Sweet, dainty Nell, whose baby life
    Seemed early linked with his,
    And whom he loved with all a boy's devotion.

    Long years have flown.
    No longer boy and girl, but man and woman grown,
    They stand again beside the brook, that murmurs
    Ever in its course, nor stays for time nor man,
    And tell the old, old story,
    And promise to be true till life for them shall end.

    Again the years roll on,
    And they are old. The frost of age
    Has touched the once-brown hair,
    And left it white as are the chaliced lilies.
    Children, whose rosy lips once claimed
    A father's blessing and a mother's love,
    Have grown to man's estate, save two
    Whom God called early home to wait
    For them in heaven.

    And then the old man thinks
    How on a night like this, when faint
    And sweet as half-remembered dreams
    Old Whippoorwill Falls did murmur soft
    Its evening psalms, when fragrant lilies
    Pointed up the way her Christ had gone,
    God called the wife and mother home,
    And bade him wait.
    Oh! why is it so hard for
    Man to wait? to sit with folded hands,
    Apart, amid the busy throng,
    And hear the buzz and hum of toil around;
    To see men reap and bind the golden sheaves
    Of earthly fruits, while he looks idly on,
    And knows he may not join,
    But only wait till God has said, "Enough!"
    And calls him home!

    And thus the old man dreams,
    And then awakes; awakes to hear
    The sweet old song just dying
    On the pulsing evening air:

    "When other helpers fail,
    And comforts flee,
    Lord of the helpless,
    Oh, abide with me!"

  20. A Secret

    by John Charles McNeill

    A little baby went to sleep
    One night in his white bed,
    And the moon came by to take a peep
    At the little baby head.

    A wind, as wandering winds will do,
    Brought to the baby there
    Sweet smells from some quaint flower that grew
    Out on some hill somewhere.

    And wind and flower and pale moonbeam
    About the baby's bed
    Stirred and woke the funniest dream
    In the little sleepy head.

    He thought he was all sorts of things
    From a lion to a cat;
    Sometimes he thought he flew on wings,
    Or fell and fell, so that

    When morning broke he was right glad
    But much surprised to see
    Himself a soft, pink little lad
    Just like he used to be.

    I would not give this story fame
    If there were room to doubt it,
    But when he learned to talk, he came
    And told me all about it.

  21. After Apple-Picking

    by Robert Frost

    My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
    Toward heaven still,
    And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
    Beside it, and there may be two or three
    Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
    But I am done with apple-picking now.
    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
    The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
    I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
    I got from looking through a pane of glass
    I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
    And held against the world of hoary grass.
    It melted, and I let it fall and break.
    But I was well

    Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
    And I could tell
    What form my dreaming was about to take.
    Magnified apples appear and disappear,
    Stem end and blossom end,
    And every fleck of russet showing dear.
    My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
    It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
    I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
    And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
    The rumbling sound
    Of load on load of apples coming in.
    For I have had too much
    Of apple-picking: I am overtired
    Of the great harvest I myself desired.
    There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
    Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
    For all
    That struck the earth,
    No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
    Went surely to the cider-apple heap
    As of no worth.
    One can see what will trouble
    This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
    Were he not gone,
    The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
    Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
    Or just some human sleep.

  22. The Shepherd of the Flock of Dreams

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    He calls them out with a musical shout
    From the folds that are lying nowhere;
    And up they climb to the meadows of Time
    Through the seasons of the slow year.
    With bleat, bleat, bleat, on the road they beat,
    On the great highways of vision,
    Where I hear them knock, the long white flock,
    With a rhythmical precision.

    He follows them forth who values their worth
    For the clothing of man's desire;
    And he makes no claim for pelf or fame,
    For he's far too rich to aspire.
    His kingdom lies in the long sunrise
    Of life, where the nations arose,
    And he gathers his sheep from the fields of sleep
    Where the hopes of the world repose.

  23. Wherefore?

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Wherefore in dreams are sorrows borne anew,
    A healed wound opened, or the past revived?
    Last night in my deep sleep I dreamed of you—
    Again the old love woke in me, and thrived
    On looks of fire, and kisses, and sweet words
    Like silver waters purling in a stream,
    Or like the amorous melodies of birds:
    A dream—a dream.

    Again upon the glory of the scene
    There settled that dread shadow of the cross
    That, when hearts love too well, falls in between—
    That warns them of impending woe and loss.
    Again I saw you drifting from my life,
    As barques are rudely parted in a stream;
    Again my heart was torn with awful strife:
    A dream—a dream.

    Again the deep night settled on me there,
    Alone I groped, and heard strange waters roll.
    Lost in that blackness of supreme despair
    That comes but once to any living soul.
    Alone, afraid, I called your name aloud—
    Mine eyes, unveiled, beheld white stars agleam,
    And lo! awake, I cried, "Thank God, thank God,
    A dream—a dream!"

  24. The Dream

    by Grace Hazard Conkling

    A hillside acre or two astride a brook,
    Tipped toward blue valley, fenced with apple-trees,
    A strip of flowery pasture whence the bees
    Could gather flavors for your winter book,
    Red cedar for the hearth, a lane to crook
    An elbow round the cottage, silences
    To tempt the thrushes, simple things like these
    Were in our dream; for these we used to look.
    And now I have found a place of delicate heath
    And downward-leaping stream and leaning hill
    Above a valley blue as grapes are blue,
    It must be fought for as you fight beneath
    The flag of stars. Our dream must wait until
    France has her cities back, and I have you.

  25. Dream Land

    by Christina Rossetti

    Where sunless rivers weep
    Their waves into the deep,
    She sleeps a charmèd sleep:
    Awake her not.
    Led by a single star,
    She came from very far
    To seek where shadows are
    Her pleasant lot.

    She left the rosy morn,
    She left the fields of corn,
    For twilight cold and lorn
    And water springs.
    Through sleep, as through a veil,
    She sees the sky look pale,
    And hears the nightingale
    That sadly sings.

    Rest, rest, a perfect rest
    Shed over brow and breast;
    Her face is toward the west,
    The purple land.
    She cannot see the grain
    Ripening on hill and plain;
    She cannot feel the rain
    Upon her hand.

    Rest, rest, forevermore
    Upon a mossy shore;
    Rest, rest at the heart's core
    Till time shall cease:
    Sleep that no pain shall wake,
    Night that no morn shall break,
    Till joy shall overtake
    Her perfect peace.

  26. I Dreamt and In My Dreams

    by Florence Kellett

    I dreamt, and in my dreams I heard
    Sweet music faint and low,
    It was a song of Ireland,
    A song of long ago.

    I saw once more my dear old home
    With its gables and its towers,
    The dear old fashioned garden
    With all its brilliant flowers.

    Once more I heard the church bells ring
    Through the quiet evening air.
    Once more I sang the vesper hymn,
    Once more I knelt at prayer.

    And then I saw the harvest moon
    Shed forth its lustrous light
    Upon the fields of yellow corn.
    It was a glorious sight.

    Then in the early dawn
    I walked beside the silent stream,
    I saw the blue forget-me-not
    And picked it in my dream.

    I saw the mountains and the hills
    The woodland and the lea,
    And memories of bygone days
    Came rushing over me.

    For Ireland and for freedom
    I felt my pulses glow,
    I saw the patriots of old
    Go forth to meet the foe.

    And when I saw the green flag
    That fluttered in the air,
    I prayed that God would bless it
    And that God would hear my prayer.

    Oh Ireland forever
    Thou art graven on my heart,
    No dream can make thee sweeter
    Or fairer than thou art.

  27. A Dream

    by Annette Wynne

    'Twas such a big pie that I knew
    It wasn't really truly true;
    It was so high and round and deep,
    I knew at once I was asleep;
    For pies are never made that way
    In day!

    A lion soon came rushing by,
    And gobbled up that great big pie,
    I'm glad now 'twas a dream, aren't you?
    Or else I'd have been eaten, too!

  28. Let Me Not Lose My Dream

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    Let me not lose my dream, e'en though I scan the veil with eyes unseeing through their glaze of tears,
    Let me not falter, though the rungs of fortune perish as I fare above the tumult, praying purer air,
    Let me not lose the vision, gird me, Powers that toss the worlds, I pray!
    Hold me, and guard, lest anguish tear my dreams away!

  29. Calling Dreams

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    The right to make my dreams come true
    I ask, nay, I demand of life,
    Nor shall fate's deadly contraband
    Impede my steps, nor countermand.

    Too long my heart against the ground
    Has beat the dusty years around,
    And now, at length, I rise, I wake!
    And stride into the morning-break!

  30. The Dreams of the Dreamer

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    The dreams of the dreamer
    Are life-drops that pass
    The break in the heart
    To the soul's hour-glass.

    The songs of the singer
    Are tones that repeat
    The cry of the heart
    'Till it ceases to beat.

  31. Resolution

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    With but one life full certified,
    And that of every gleam denied
    My portion,
    Close to the unrelenting sod,
    E'en as my fathers dumbly trod,
    I've slumbered;
    But now a surging, wild unrest
    Uproots the poppies from my breast,
    My soul awake, erect! anew!
    I stand and face the star-swept blue,
    And swear to make my dreams come true!

  32. The Heart of a Woman

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
    As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
    Afar o’er life’s turrets and vales does it roam
    In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.

    The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
    And enters some alien cage in its plight,
    And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
    While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.

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