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Poem by Henry Timrod


Dreams


Who first said "false as dreams?" Not one who saw
    Into the wild and wondrous world they sway;
No thinker who hath read their mystic law;
    No Poet who hath weaved them in his lay.

Else had he known that through the human breast
    Cross and recross a thousand fleeting gleams,
That, passed unnoticed in the day's unrest,
    Come out at night, like stars, in shining dreams;

That minds too busy or to dull to mark
    The dim suggestions of the noisier hours,
By dreams in the deep silence of the dark,
    Are roused at midnight with their folded powers.

Like that old fount beneath Dodona's oaks,
    That, dry and voiceless in the garish noon,
When the calm night arose with modest looks,
    Caught with full wave the sparkle of the moon.

If, now and then, a ghastly shape glide in,
    And fright us with its horrid gloom or glee,
It is the ghost of some forgotten sin
    We failed to exorcise on bended knee.

And that sweet face which only yesternight
    Came to thy solace, dreamer (did'st thou read
The blessing in its eyes of tearful light?)
    Was but the spirit of some gentle deed.

Each has its lesson; for our dreams in sooth,
    Come they in shape of demons, gods, or elves,
Are allegories with deep hearts of truth
    That tell us solemn secrets of ourselves.



Henry Timrod


Henry Timrod's other poems:
  1. To Thee
  2. Two Portraits
  3. The Cotton Boll
  4. The Stream is Flowing from the West
  5. The Arctic Voyager


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Dryden Dreams ("Dreams are but interludes which Fancy makes")
  • Robert Herrick Dreams ("Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurl'd")
  • Anne Brontë Dreams ("While on my lonely couch I lie")
  • John Newman Dreams ("OH! miserable power")
  • Caroline Norton Dreams ("SURELY I heard a voice-surely my name")
  • Robert Service Dreams ("I had a dream, a dream of dread")
  • Edgar Poe Dreams ("Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!")
  • Amy Lowell Dreams ("I do not care to talk to you although")

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