Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DREAMS, by JULIET H. CAMPBELL



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DREAMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Many, oh! Man, are the wild dreams beguiling
Last Line: Love was her heaven, now heaven is her love.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Juliet H.
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares


MANY, oh! man, are the wild dreams beguiling
Thy spirit of its restlessness, and ever
Thou rushest onward, some new prize pursuing,
Like the mad waves of a relentless river.
First Love, the morning sun of thy existence,
Enchants thy path with glories and with bliss:
Oh! linger, for the shadowy hereafter
Hath nought to offer that can equal this!

Linger, and revel in thy first young dreaming,
The holiest that can thrill thy yearning heart,
Husband the precious moments, the brief feeling
Of youthful ecstasy will soon depart.
Seek not to win too soon that which thou lovest,
When winning will but break the magic spell;
Love on, but seek not, strive not, -- the attainment
Will cloy thy fickle heart, thy dream dispel.

Vain is the warning! Death as soon will listen
To the beseechings of his stricken prey;
Or Time will tarry when the cowering nations
Shrink from their desolating destiny!
Thou art as fierce as fate in thy pursuing;
Thou art impetuous as the flight of Time;
And didst thou love a star, thy mad presuming
Would pluck it from high heaven, and dim its shine.

And now Ambition, like a radiant angel,
Attracts thy vision, and enchains thy thought;
Ambition is thy god, and thou art laying
Thy all before the insatiate Juggernaut;
The health, the strength, which crown'd thy youth with glory,
The friends who loved thee in thy early day,
The clinging love which once thy bosom cherish'd; --
All these are cast, like worthless weeds, away.

Take now the prize for which thou 'st madly barter'd,
Thy first, best treasures; and in lonely grief
Enjoy Fame's emptiness, and broken-hearted,
Feed on the poison of my laurel leaf;
Then sated, turn in bitter disappointment
From the applause of flattery's fawning troop,
And curse, within thy cheated heart's recesses,
Ambition's demon, and thyself his dupe!

These are the visions of thy youth and manhood;
With disappointment, wilt thou grow more sage?
Alas, more grovelling yet, and more degrading,
Is Avarice, the sordid dream of age!
When all the joys of summer have departed,
And life is stripp'd alike of birds and bloom,
'T is sad to see Age, in his dotage, treasure
The wither'd leaves beside his yawning tomb!

Yes, many are thy dreams, while gentle woman
Hath but one vision, and it is of thee!
Faith, Hope, and Charity, (most Christian graces,)
In her meek bosom dwell, a trinity
Combined in unit; and an earthly Godhead
Whose name is Love, demands her worshipping;
And she, e'en as the Hindoo to his idol,
The blind devotion of her heart doth bring,
And when her god of clay hath disappointed,
Earth can enchant no more; she looks above,
Laying her crush'd heart on her Saviour's bosom
Love was her heaven, now Heaven is her love.





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