Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FANCY AND IMAGINATION, by BERNARD BARTON

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FANCY AND IMAGINATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is a pleasure, now and then, in giving
Last Line: Woo your sublime delights, and bless you on my waking.
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Dreams; Imagination; Nightmares; Fancy

THERE is a pleasure, now and then, in giving
Full scope to Fancy and Imagination;
And, for a time, to seem as we were living
In fearless, incorporeal exultation,
Amid sweet scenes of the mind's own creation.
Why should we not? We surely need not deem
That man forgets the duties of his station,
Because he cherishes the lovely gleam
Thrown on life's thorny path by fancy's brilliant beam.

No gift of GOD was given without its end;
And had it not been right that we should see,
As through this world's bleak wilderness we wend,
Beyond the reach of dull reality,
Imagination, fearless, fond and free,
Had not been given us. It has—and why?
But to enable us at times to be
Partakers of those raptures pure and high,
Unearthly beings bring before our mental eye.

The danger of such dear delights is this:
'Tis sweet to soar, but dreary to descend;
To exchange for real bale, ideal bliss,
And see the beauteous forms which round us blend
In airy loveliness, no more befriend
The heart they lighten'd, vanishing afar!
True, it is painful! but think we to mend
Our mortal destiny, or rather mar,
By quenching in our minds each brightest, loveliest star?

The Patriarch, who laid him down to rest,
And saw in holy visions of the night,
'Mid opening clouds the angelic host confest,
Ascending and descending in his sight,
Those golden steps so glitteringly bright,
Which led from earth to heaven—from heaven to earth;
Did he, repining at the morning light,
Arraign the Power which gave those phantoms birth?
No! with adoring heart he humbly own'd their worth.

Oh, hallow'd Fancy! sweet Imagination!
Although your blessings unto me have been
Not pure and unalloy'd; my admiration,
My love of you, is not the less, I ween.
Still gild at intervals life's clouded scene;
And though your lofty glories brightly breaking
On my mind's eye, be "few and far between,"
May I, in dreams at least, your powers partaking,
Woo your sublime delights, and bless you on my waking.

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