Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DREAM-LAND, by WILLIAM C. CAMERON



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DREAM-LAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tis not knee-deep 'mong growing grass
Last Line: Has failed to give our heritage!
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares


'TIS not knee-deep 'mong growing grass,
Nor is't inhaling breath of flow'rs,
That swift-wing'd Time with me doth pass;
Nor is it in the laughing bow'rs
Of indolence I sit and dream
Away God's golden sunlit hours;
Nor do I loll where singing stream
Lulls me into a calm repose;
Nor does the fragrance of the rose,
Waft its sweet breath t' enamour me,
Beside the wide and flowing sea.
I never see the red sun set,
Nor do I see the pale moon rise;
I seldom see the violet,
Or soaring lark ascend the skies;
Nor do I rest on couch of ease,
With all I want close at my hand,
And everything to soothe and please --
Alladin-like -- at my command.
And yet, although these are not mine,
I have a gift that's more divine!

I dwell within a giant town,
Whose angry smoke pollutes the sky,
And heavy feet, like waves, come down
In constant din, from passers-by;
And swarthy men, with Vulcan hand,
And heavy tread, and deep bass throat,
Make where I dwell a Mammon land,
Instead of an Arcadian grot!
And yet, I dream! Yes, dream! -- Why not?
The mind can make a heaven of hell,
Yet live among the little lot
Of things with which we're forced to dwell!
And yet I dream! Yes, mindless thing!
I dream -- I see -- I shape the form
Of happy scenes that Time must bring
When pass'd away this Mammon storm
That rages now: -- When mind will be
Man's rank -- man's fame -- man's majesty!

So here I sit and con my creed
The live-long day, content to glean
From out Time's hidden womb, the seed
That soon or late, in every scene
Which swells the tide of misery,
Must usher in the glorious day,
That rings the knell of giant Might,
As the day-giver scatters night,
Before his keen eyes' burning ray!
All this I dream! -- All this I dream! --
Dame Fortune's step-son oft pass'd by;
With scarce a friend to clear my name
From mis-report and calumny!
When midnight reigns stars seem more bright,
And their sweet mysteries stand unveil'd;
The darkness of the tomb gives light;
And all that death has kept conceal'd
Shall beam upon my wond'ring sight;
And every "Why" shall be reveal'd,
For God doth reign -- and God is Right!
Ah, yes! I see one vast wide stage,
Where all men stand alike! The Sword
Of Justice ne'er by deed or word
Has failed to give our heritage!





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