About this Poem 

“Dreams” was published in Poe’s book Tamerlane and other poems (George Redway, 1884).

Dreams

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, 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 must 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
I’ 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 remembrance 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.
 

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Born in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe had a profound impact on American and international literature as an editor, poet, and critic.

by this poet

poem
             I

     Beneath the vine-clad eaves,
         Whose shadows fall before
         Thy lowly cottage door
     Under the lilac’s tremulous leaves—
     Within thy snowy claspeed hand
         The purple flowers it bore..
     Last eve in dreams, I saw thee stand,
     Like queenly nymphs
poem
     Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
     With drowsy head and folded wing,
     Among the green leaves as they shake
     Far down within some shadowy lake,
     To me a painted paroquet
     Hath been—a most familiar bird—
     Taught me my alphabet to say—
     To lisp my very earliest
poem
     THOU wast all that to me, love,
         For which my soul did pine—
     A green isle in the sea, love,
         A fountain and a shrine,
     All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
         And all the flowers were mine.

     Ah, dream too bright to last!
         Ah, starry Hope! that didst