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Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "Dreams" (B), North American (Baltimore, MD), October 20, 1827, 1:184, col. 2

[page 184, middle of column 2:]

Extract — "DREAMS."

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awak'ning till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow —
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
‘Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life to him whose heart shall be,
And hath been still upon the lovely earth
A chaos of deep passion from his birth —
But should it be (that dream) eternally
Continuing — as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood — should it thus be given
‘Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven!
For I have revell'd when the sun was bright
In the summer sky, in dreams of living light
And loveliness — have left my very heart
In climes of mine imagining — apart
From mine own home — with beings that have been
Of mine own thought — what more could I have seen?
‘Twas once — and only once (and the wild hour
From my remembering shall not pass) some power
Or spell, had bound me — 'twas the chilly wind
Came o'er me in the night and left behind
Its image on my spirit — or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly — or the stars — howe'er it was ——
That dream was as that night-wind — let it pass —
I have been happy — tho' but in a dream
I have been happy — and I  love the theme.
Dreams in their vivid colouring of life —
As in that fleeting — shadowy — misty strife
Of semblance with reality, which brings
To the delirious eye more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love (and all our own!) —
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

W. H. P.


Although signed with the initials of Poe's brother, W. H. P. (William Henry Leonard Poe), this poem is surely by Edgar. Why it was printed in this form is unknown. The inclusion of the poem in Tamerlane and Other Poems of 1827, and a surviving manuscript in Edgar's own hand, makes the attribution nearly certain. The heading notes the poem as an extract, but it is complete.

[S:2 - BNA, 1827 (MdHi)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Dreams (B)