Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DREAM, by RICHARD WATSON DIXON



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DREAM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: With camel's hair I clothed my skin
Last Line: At once, and he died looking towards my face.
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares


I

With camel's hair I clothed my skin,
I fed my mouth with honey wild;
And set me scarlet wool to spin,
And all my breast with hyssop filled;
Upon my brow and cheeks and chin
A bird's blood spilled.

I took a broken reed to hold,
I took a sponge of gall to press;
I took weak water-weeds to fold
About my sacrificial dress.

I took the grasses of the field,
The flax was bolled upon my crine;
And ivy thorn and wild grapes healed
To make good wine.

I took my scrip of manna sweet,
My cruse of water did I bless;
I took the white dove by the feet,
And flew into the wilderness.

II

The tiger came and played;
Uprose the lion in his mane;
The jackal's tawny nose
And sanguine dripping tongue
Out of the desert rose
And plunged its sands among;
The bear came striding o'er the desert plain.

Uprose the horn and eyes
And quivering flank of the great unicorn,
And galloped round and round;
Uprose the gleaming claw
Of the leviathan, and wound
In steadfast march did draw
Its course away beyond the desert's bourn.

I stood within a maze
Woven round about me by a magic art,
And ordered circle-wise:
The bear more near did tread,
And with two fiery eyes,
And with a wolfish head,
Did close the circle round in every part.

III

With scarlet corded horn,
With frail wrecked knees and stumbling pace,
The scapegoat came:
His eyes took flesh and spirit dread in flame
At once, and he died looking towards my face.





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