Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Within a Dream” (Text-06), manuscript, early 1849


For Annie

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand —

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep — while I weep!

Oh, God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

Oh, God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that I see or seem

But a dream within a dream?



A facsimile of this manuscript was printed in the Bookman (London), XXXV, January 1909, p. 190.

In the printed form of the poem, published in March of 1849 in the Flag of Our Union, Poe added nine lines to the beginning and changed the title to “A Dream Within a Dream.” Curiously, a few months later, he also made plans to have it published in the Richmond Examiner as “To —,” possibly for Elmira Shelton.


[S:0 - MS, 1849 (fac, 1909)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - A Dream within a Dream [Text-06]