Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awakening, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow. Yes! tho' 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 revell'd, when the sun was bright I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light And loveliness,—have left my very heart In climes of my imagining, 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 the 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 as that night-wind—let it pass.
I have been happy, tho' in a dream. I have been happy—and I love the theme: Dreams! in their vivid coloring 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 our own! Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.