Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awak'ning till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
'T were 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 giv'n,
'T were folly still to hope for higher Heav'n.
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 mine imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought - what more could I have seen?
'T was once - and only once - and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass - some pow'r
Or spell had bound me - 't was the chilly wind
Cam 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' [but] 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.