From: Poems (1844)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Carey and Hart 1844 Philadelphia


AMID the watches of the windy night,
A poet sat and listened to the flow
Of his own changeful thoughts—until there passed
A vision by him, murmuring as it moved,
A wild and mystic lay, to which his thoughts
And pen kept time—and thus the measure ran:

All is but as it seems;
The round green earth
With river and glen;
The din and the mirth
Of the busy, busy men;
The world’s great fever
Throbbing for ever;
The creed of the sage,
The hope of the age,
All things we cherish,
All that live and all that perish,
These are but inner dreams.

The great world goeth on
To thy dreaming;
To thee alone
Hearts are making their moan
Eyes are streaming.
Thine is the white moon turning night to day,
Thine is the dark wood sleeping in her ray;
Thee the winter chills,
Thee the springtime thrills,
All things nod to thee,
All things come to see
If thou art dreaming on;
If thy dream should break,
And thou shouldst awake,
All things would be gone.

Nothing is, if thou art not.
From thee as from a root
The blossoming stars upshoot,
The flower-cups drink the rain:
Joy and grief and weary pain
Spring aloft from thee,
And toss their branches free;
Thou art under, over all;
Thou dost hold and cover all;
Thou art Atlas—thou art Jove.
The mightiest truth
Hath all its youth
From thy enveloping thought—
Thy thought itself lay in thy earliest love.

Nature keeps time to thee
With voice unbroken;
Still doth she rhyme to thee
When thou hast spoken.
When the sun shines to thee,
‘Tis thy own joy
Opening mines to thee
Nought can destroy.
When the blast moans to thee
Still doth the wind
Echo the tones to thee
Of thy own mind;
Laughter but saddens thee
When thou art sad;
Least things will gladden thee
When thou art glad.
Life is not life to thee
But as thou livest;
Labour is strife to thee
When thou least strivest.

More did the Spirit sing, and made the night
Most musical with inward melodies,
But vanished soon and left the listening bard
Wrapt in unearthly silence, till the morn
Reared up the screen that shuts the spirit world
From loftiest poet and from wisest sage.

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