by Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819 - 1881)

Oh, I have dreamed of it a thousand...
Language: English 
Oh, I have dreamed of it a thousand times,
Sleeping and waking, since the torch of thought
Flashed into flame at Revelation's touch,
And filled my spirit with its quenchless fire.
Most envious dreams of innocence and joy
Have haunted me, -- dreams that were born in sin,
Yet swathed in stainless snow. I've dreamed, and dreamed,
Of wondrous trees, crowned with perennial green,
Whose soft still shadows gleamed with golden lamps
Of pensile fruitage, or were flushed with life
Radiant and tuneful when broad flocks of birds
Swept in and out like sheets of living flame.
I've dreamed of aisles tufted with velvet grass,
And bordered with the strange intelligence
Of myriad loving eyes among the flowers,
That watched me with a curious, calm delight,
As rows of wayside cherubim may watch
A new soul, walking into Paradise.
I've dreamed of sunsets when the sun supine
Lay rocking on the ocean like a god,
And threw his weary arms far up the sky,
And with vermilion-tinted fingers toyed
With the long tresses of the evening star.
I've dreamed of dreams more beautiful than all --
Dreams that were music, perfume, vision, bliss, --
Blent and sublimed, till I have stood inwrapped
In the thick essence of an atmosphere
That made me tremble to unclose my eyes
Lest I should look on God. And I have dreamed
Of sinless men and maids, mated in heaven,
Ere yet their souls had sought for beauteous forms
To give them human sense and residence,
Moving through all this realm of choice delights
For ever and for aye; with hands and hearts
Immaculate as light; without a thought
Of evil, and without a name for fear.
Oh, when I wake from happy dreams like these,
To the old consciousness that I must die,
To the old presence of a guilty heart,
To the old fear that haunts me night and day,
Why should I not deplore the graceless fall
That makes me what I am, and shuts me out
From a condition and society
As much above a sinful maiden's dreams
As Eden blest surpasses Eden curst?

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Text added to the website: 2011-02-14 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:15
Line count: 45
Word count: 350