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A dream lies dead here. May you softly go

Before this place, and turn away your eyes,

Nor seek to know the look of that which dies

Importuning Life for life. Walk not in woe,

But, for little, let your step be slow

And, of your mercy, be not sweetly wise

With words of hope and Spring and tenderer skies.

A dream lies dead; and this all mourners know:

 

Whenever one drifted petal leaves the tree-

Though white of bloom as it had been before

And proudly waitful of fecundity-

One little loveliness can be more;

And so must Beauty bow her imperfect head

Because a dream has joined the wistful dead!

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over–

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep,

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Thou dreamer with the million moods,

Of restless heart like me,

Lay thy white hands against my breast

And cool its pain, O Sea!

 

O wanderer of the unseen paths,

Restless of heart as I,

 

Blow hither, from caves of blue,

Wind of the healing sky!

 

O treader of the fiery way,

With passionate heart like mine,

Hold to my lips thy healthful cup

Brimmed with its blood-red wine!

 

O countless watchers of the night,

Of sleepless heart like me,

Pour your white beauty in my soul,

Till I grow calm as ye!

 

O sea, O sun, O wind and stars,

(O hungry heart that longs!)

Feed my starved lips with life, with love,

And touch my tongue with songs!

 

When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,

With scarlet roses tinting her green breast,

And mating thrushes ushering in her day,

And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest,

 

I always see the evening when we met—

The first of June baptized in tender rain—

And walked home through the wide streets, gleaming wet,

Arms locked, our warm flesh pulsing with love’s pain.

 

I always see the cheerful little room,

And in the corner, fresh and white, the bed,

Sweet scented with a delicate perfume,

Wherein for one night only we were wed;

 

Where in the starlit stillness we lay mute,

And heard the whispering showers all night long,

And your brown burning body was a lute

Whereon my passion played his fevered song.

 

When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,

With scarlet roses staining her fair feet,

My soul takes leave of me to sing all day

A love so fugitive and so complete.

Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,

When our mother Nature laughs around;

When even the deep blue heavens look glad,

And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

 

There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,

And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;

The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,

And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

 

The clouds are at play in the azure space,

And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,

And here they stretch to the frolic chase,

And there they roll on the easy gale.

 

There’s a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,

There’s a titter of winds on that beechen tree,

There’s a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,

And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

 

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles

On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,

On the leaping waters and gay young isles;

At, look, and he’ll smile thy gloom away.