The Grecian Girl's Dream Of The Blessed Islands.

A poem by Thomas Moore


Was it the moon, or was it morning's ray,
That call'd thee, dearest, from these arms away?
Scarce hadst thou left me, when a dream of night
Came o'er my spirit so distinct and bright,
That, while I yet can vividly recall
Its witching wonders, thou shall hear them all.
Methought I saw, upon the lunar beam,
Two winged boys, such as thy muse might dream,
Descending from above, at that still hour,
And gliding, with smooth step, into my bower.
Fair as the beauteous spirits that, all day.
In Amatha's warm founts imprisoned stay,
But rise at midnight, from the enchanted rill,
To cool their plumes upon some moonlight hill.

At once I knew their mission:--'twas to bear
My spirit upward, through the paths of air,
To that elysian realm, from whence stray beams
So oft, in sleep, had visited my dreams.
Swift at their touch dissolved the ties, that clung
All earthly round me, and aloft I sprung;
While, heavenward guides, the little genii flew
Thro' paths of light, refreshed by heaven's own dew,
And fanned by airs still fragrant with the breath
Of cloudless climes and worlds that know not death.

Thou knowest, that, far beyond our nether sky,
And shown but dimly to man's erring eye,
A mighty ocean of blue ether rolls,[2]
Gemmed with bright islands, where the chosen souls,
Who've past in lore and love their earthly hours,
Repose for ever in unfading bowers.
That very moon, whose solitary light
So often guides thee to my bower at night,
Is no chill planet, but an isle of love,
Floating in splendor through those seas above,
And peopled with bright forms, aerial grown,
Nor knowing aught of earth but love alone.
Thither, I thought, we winged our airy way:--
Mild o'er its valleys streamed a silvery day,
While, all around, on lily beds of rest,
Reclined the spirits of the immortal Blest.
Oh! there I met those few congenial maids,
Whom love hath warmed, in philosophic shades;
There still Leontium,[3] on her sage's breast,
Found lore and love, was tutored and carest;
And there the clasp of Pythia's[4]gentle arms
Repaid the zeal which deified her charms.
The Attic Master,[5] in Aspasia's eyes,
Forgot the yoke of less endearing ties;
While fair Theano,[6] innocently fair,
Wreathed playfully her Samian's flowing hair,
Whose soul now fixt, its transmigrations past,
Found in those arms a resting-place, at last;
And smiling owned, whate'er his dreamy thought
In mystic numbers long had vainly sought,
The One that's formed of Two whom love hath bound,
Is the best number gods or men e'er found.

But think, my Theon, with what joy I thrilled,
When near a fount, which through the valley rilled,
My fancy's eye beheld a form recline,
Of lunar race, but so resembling thine
That, oh! 'twas but fidelity in me,
To fly, to clasp, and worship it for thee.
No aid of words the unbodied soul requires,
To waft a wish or embassy desires;
But by a power, to spirits only given,
A deep, mute impulse, only felt in heaven,
Swifter than meteor shaft through summer skies,
From soul to soul the glanced idea flies.

Oh, my beloved, how divinely sweet
Is the pure joy, when kindred spirits meet!
Like him, the river-god,[7]whose waters flow,
With love their only light, through caves below,
Wafting in triumph all the flowery braids,
And festal rings, with which Olympic maids
Have decked his current, as an offering meet
To lay at Arethusa's shining feet.

Think, when he meets at last his fountain-bride,
What perfect love must thrill the blended tide!
Each lost in each, till, mingling into one,
Their lot the same for shadow or for sun,
A type of true love, to the deep they run.
'Twas thus--
But, Theon, 'tis an endless theme,
And thou growest weary of my half-told dream.

Oh would, my love, we were together now.
And I would woo sweet patience to thy brow,
And make thee smile at all the magic tales
Of starlight bowers and planetary vales,
Which my fond soul, inspired by thee and love,
In slumber's loom hath fancifully wove.
But no; no more--soon as tomorrow's ray
O'er soft Ilissus shall have died away,
I'll come, and, while love's planet in the west
Shines o'er our meeting, tell thee all the rest.

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