The Dream

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

This was my dream:

It seemed the afternoon
Of some deep tropic day; and yet the moon
Stood round and bright with golden alchemy
High in a heaven bluer than the sea.
Long lawny lengths of perishable cloud
Hung in a west o'er rolling forests bowed;
Clouds raining colours, gold and violet,
That, opening, seemed from mystic worlds to let
Hints down of Parian beauty and lost charms
Of dim immortals, young, with floating forms.
And all about me fruited orchards grew,
Pear, quince and peach, and plums of dusty blue;
Rose-apricots and apples streaked with fire,
Kissed into ripeness by the sun's desire
And big with juice. And on far, fading hills,
Down which it seemed a hundred torrent rills
Flashed rushing silver, vines and vines and vines
Of purple vintage swollen with cool wines;
Pale pleasant wines and fragrant as late June,
Their delicate tang drawn from the wine-white moon
And from the clouds o'er this sweet world there dripped
An odorous music, strangely feverish-lipped,
That swung and swooned and panted in mad sighs;
Investing at each throb the air with eyes,
And forms of sensuous spirits, limpid white,
Clad on with raiment as of starry night;
Fair, faint embodiments of melody,
From out whose hearts of crystal one could see
The music stream like light through delicate hands
Hollowing a lamp. And as on sounding sands
The ocean murmur haunts the rosy shells,
Within whose convolutions beauty dwells,
My soul became a vibrant harp of love,
Re-echoing all the harmony above.

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