When My Dreams Come True

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

I

When my dreams come true - when my dreams come true -
Shall I lean from out my casement, in the starlight and the dew,
To listen - smile and listen to the tinkle of the strings
Of the sweet guitar my lover's fingers fondle, as he sings?
And as the nude moon slowly, slowly shoulders into view,
Shall I vanish from his vision - when my dreams come true?

When my dreams come true - shall the simple gown I wear
Be changed to softest satin, and my maiden-braided hair
Be raveled into flossy mists of rarest, fairest gold,
To be minted into kisses, more than any heart can hold? -
Or "the summer of my tresses" shall my lover liken to
"The fervor of his passion" - when my dreams come true?


II

When my dreams come true - I shall bide among the sheaves
Of happy harvest meadows; and the grasses and the leaves
Shall lift and lean between me and the splendor of the sun,
Till the moon swoons into twilight, and the gleaners' work is done -
Save that yet an arm shall bind me, even as the reapers do
The meanest sheaf of harvest - when my dreams come true.

When my dreams come true! when my dreams come true!
True love in all simplicity is fresh and pure as dew; -
The blossom in the blackest mold is kindlier to the eye
Than any lily born of pride that looms against the sky:
And so it is I know my heart will gladly welcome you,
My lowliest of lovers, when my dreams come true.

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