A poem by Frances Anne Kemble

Suggested by Sir Thomas Lawrence observing that we never dream of ourselves younger than we are.

Not in our dreams, not even in our dreams,
May we return to that sweet land of youth,
That home of hope, of innocence, and truth,
Which as we farther roam but fairer seems.
In that dim shadowy world, where the soul strays
When she has laid her mortal charge to rest,
We oft behold far future hours and days,
But ne'er live o'er the past, the happiest,
How oft will fancy's wild imaginings
Bear us in sleep to times and worlds unseen!
But ah! not e'en unfettered fancy's wings
Can lead us back to aught that we have been,
Or waft us to that smiling, sunny shore,
Which e'en in slumber we may tread no more.

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