Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAND OF DREAMS, by WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LAND OF DREAMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A mighty realm is the land of dreams
Last Line: Shall lie on the path of thy daily life.

A MIGHTY realm is the Land of Dreams,
With steeps that hang in the twilight sky,
And weltering oceans and trailing streams,
That gleam where the dusky valleys lie.

But over its shadowy border flow
Sweet rays from the world of endless morn,
And the nearer mountains catch the glow,
And flowers in the nearer fields are born.

The souls of the happy dead repair,
From their bowers of light, to that bordering land,
And walk in the fainter glory there,
With the souls of the living hand in hand.

One calm sweet smile, in that shadowy sphere,
From eyes that open on earth no more--
One warning word from a voice once dear--
How they rise in the memory o'er and o'er!

Far off from those hills that shine with day,
And fields that bloom in the heavenly gales,
The Land of Dreams goes stretching away
To dimmer mountains and darker vales.

There lie the chambers of guilty delight,
There walk the spectres of guilty fear,
And soft low voices, that float through the night,
Are whispering sin in the helpless ear.

Dear maid, in thy girlhood's opening flower,
Scarce weaned from the love of childish play!
The tears on whose cheeks are but the shower
That freshens the blooms of early May!

Thine eyes are closed, and over thy brow
Pass thoughtful shadows and joyous gleams,
And I know, by thy moving lips, that now
Thy spirit strays in the Land of Dreams.

Light-hearted maiden, oh, heed thy feet!
O keep where that beam of Paradise falls:
And only wander where thou mayst meet
The blessed ones from its shining walls!

So shalt thou come from the Land of Dreams,
With love and peace to this world of strife:
And the light which over that border streams
Shall lie on the path of thy daily life.

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