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The dream

A youth, with gentle brow and tender cheek,
     Dreams in a place so silent, that no bird,
No rustle of the leaves his slumbers break;
     Only soft tinkling from the stream is heard,
As in bright little waves it comes to greet
     The beauteous One, and play upon his feet.

On a low bank, beneath the thick shade thrown,
     Soft gleams over his brown hair are flitting,
His golden plumes, bending, all lovely shone;
     It seemed an angel's home where he was sitting
Erect, beside, a silver lily grew,
     And over all the shadow its sweet beauty threw.

Dreams he of life? O, then a noble maid
     Toward him floats, with eyes of starry light,
In richest robes all radiantly arrayed,
     To be his ladye and his dear delight.
Ah no! the distance shows a winding stream;
     No lovely ladye moves, no starry eyes do gleam.

Cold is the air, and cold the mountains blue;
     The banks are brown, and men are lying there,
Meagre and old; O, what have they to do
     With joyous visions of a youth so fair?
He must not ever sleep as they are sleeping,
     Onward through life he must be ever sweeping.

Let the pale glimmering distance pass away;
     Why in the twilight art thou slumbering there;
Wake, and come forth into triumphant day;
     Thy life and deeds must all be great and fair.
Canst thou not from the lily learn true glory,
     Pure, lofty, lowly?—such should be thy story.

But no! thou lovest the deep-eyed Past,
     And thy heart clings to sweet remembrances;
In dim cathedral aisles thou 'lt linger last,
     And fill thy mind with flitting fantasies.
But know, dear One, the world is rich to-day,
     And the unceasing God gives glory forth alway.

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