Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Book of Dreams, II.4 / George MacDonald

from A Book of Dreams


Before I sleep, some dreams draw nigh,
  Which are not fancy mere;
For sudden lights an inward eye,
  And wondrous things appear.

Thus, unawares, with vision wide,
  A steep hill once I saw,
In faint dream lights, which ever hide
  Their fountain and their law.

And up and down the hill reclined
  A host of statues old;
Such wondrous forms as you might find
  Deep under ancient mould.

They lay, wild scattered, all along,
  And maimed as if in fight;
But every one of all the throng
  Was precious to the sight.

Betwixt the night and hill they ranged,
  In dead composure cast.
As suddenly the dream was changed,
  And all the wonder past.

The hill remained; but what it bore
  Was broken reedy stalks,
Bent hither, thither, drooping o'er,
  Like flowers o'er weedy walks.

For each dim form of marble rare,
  Bent a wind-broken reed;
So hangs on autumn-field, long-bare,
 Some tall and straggling weed.

The autumn night hung like a pall,
  Hung mournfully and dead;
And if a wind had waked at all,
  It had but moaned and fled.

George MacDonald (1824-1905)
from A Hidden Life, and other poems, 1864

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

George MacDonald biography

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