Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Dreams” (Text-04), “Wilmer” manuscript collection, about 1828



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 dull reality

Of waking life to him whose heart shall be,

And hath been ever, on the chilly 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 dreamy fields of light,

And left unheedingly 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 & only once & the wild hour

From my rememberance shall not pass — some power

Or spell had bound me — ’twas the chilly wind

Came o’er me in the night & 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 — & 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 & Love — & all our own!

Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.



This manuscript was one of a small collection that Poe apparently gave to his Baltimore friend Lambert A. Wilmer.


[S:1 - MS, 1828 (W&S, 1895, 10:228-229)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Dreams (Text-04)