Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHILE THE MUSICIAN PLAYED, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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WHILE THE MUSICIAN PLAYED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O it was but a dream I had
Last Line: That voyaged with the crew.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Variant Title(s): A Dream (2)
Subject(s): Dreams; Sea; Nightmares; Ocean


O it was but a dream I had
While the musicians played!
And here the sky, and here the glad
Old ocean kissed the glade;
And here the laughing ripples ran,
And here the roses grew
That threw a kiss to every man
That voyaged with the crew.

Our silken sails in lazy folds
Drooped in the breathless breeze:
As o'er a field of marigolds
Our eyes swam o'er the seas;
While here the eddies lisped and purled
Around the island's rim,
And up from out the underworld
We saw the mermen swim.

And it was dawn and middle-day
And midnight - for the moon
On silver rounds across the bay
Had climbed the skies of June, --
And there the glowing, glorious king
Of day ruled o'er his realm,
With stars of midnight glittering
About his diadem.

The sea-gull reeled on languid wing
In circles round the mast,
We heard the songs the sirens sing
As we went sailing past;
And up and down the golden sands
A thousand fairy throngs
Flung at us from their flashing hands
The echoes of their songs.

O it was but a dream I had
While the musician played!
For here the sky, and here the glad
Old ocean kissed the glade;
And here the laughing ripples ran,
And here the roses grew
That threw a kiss to every man
That voyaged with the crew.





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