From: The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Osgood and Company 1875 Boston


“We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

LET me be still, lie still and dream again,
And bind the severed links of the golden chain
That glimmered through my morning sleep, but snapped
When at my door you rapped.

Breakfast? and half past eight? What’s that to me?
What’s daylight? What arc muffins, toast and tea?
“Market, and raining hard, and bills to pay,”
I think I heard you say.

Ah, yes, this is no dream. I must suppose
There are such things. This is a world of prose.
But I was far away. How real it seemed!
And yet I only dreamed.

I was a welcome and a happy guest
In a brave palace. Upward from the west
Long shadows of the lingering afternoon
In a long day of June

Lay on a lawn. The palace windows burned
In the red sunset, as I downward turned,
A group of youths and maidens at my side,
Down to a river wide,

Upon whose waves the western sky lay red.
A barge awaited us; and overhead
Streamed rosy wreaths of cloud. We sped along,
With joyous talk and song.

Away, away into a land of light,
Where it was neither morn nor noon nor night,
But dream-light only; and a city stood
Beyond a tropic wood.

And in the pathway to that happy place
All was incessant change of time and space,
With sudden, sweet surprises, as we went
In measureless content.

And friends, the absent and the dead, were there;
And some we never saw, yet seemed to wear
The mingled traits of those we used to know,
Went passing to and fro

Through festive halls, through gardens strange and rare;
And all were young, and all were happy there.
How could you wake me from a dream of bliss
To such a place as this?

‘Twas hard to leave that life for one so mean,
For prose and duty and the old routine
Of work. Yet now that I am up and dressed,
I know that this is best.

The lordly soul is master of its own.
The fair insanities of dreams are flown,
They were but moonlight flashes, broken gleams
Along its flowing streams.

Another light now shames the tinsel dress
Of drifting fancies wild and rudderless,
Nor ran the night’s dull jesters now impose
In Reason’s borrowed clothes.

And as I plod along, I know that life
Is but the stuff from which with toil and strife
We weave our robe of thought and creed, and tinge
With dreams its outer fringe.

Work, work, while daylight lasts, and let the night
Spin its thin webs of visionary light,
The rainbow hues that span the cataract
Of life and living fact!


All Sub-Works of The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875):
PDF Sub-Works open in a new tab. Close the tab when done viewing to return here.