by Humbert Wolfe (1885 - 1940)

The dream‑city
Language: English 
On a dream-hill we'll build our city,
and we'll build gates that have two keys -
love to let in the vanquished, and pity
to close the locks that shelter these.

There will be quiet open spaces,
and shady towers sweet with bells,
and quiet folks with quiet faces,
walking among these miracles.

There'll be a London Square in Maytime
with London lilacs, whose brave light
startles with coloured lamps the daytime,
with sudden scented wings the night.

A silent Square could but a lonely thrush
on the lilacs bear to cease
his song, and no sound else -
save only the traffic of the heart at peace.

And we will have a river painted
with the dawn's wistful strategems
of dusted gold, and night acquainted
with the long purples of the Thames.

And we will have - oh yes! the gardens
Kensington, Richmond Hill and Kew,
and Hampton, where winter scolds, and pardons
the first white crocus breaking through.

And where the great their greatness squander,
and while the wise their wisdom lose,
squirrels will leap, and deer will wander,
gracefully, down the avenues.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:56
Line count: 28
Word count: 185