Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE KINGDOM OF 'IF', by HERBERT KAUFMAN



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THE KINGDOM OF 'IF', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There's a wonderful country, the king- / dom of if
Last Line: From the heart-breaking valley of dreams.
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares


THERE'S a wonderful country, the kingdom of IF,
And it lies in the Valley of Dreams.
'Neath the bluest of skies where the sun never dies,
It has gold for its oceans and streams.
There is never a storm and there's never a cloud,
And there's never a grief nor a woe,
And there's never a heart that in sorrow is bowed,
By the banks where the golden streams flow.

There each home is a castle of jasper and jade,
And each man is a king of his right,
And the dower of Priam's son jewels each maid.
There's no caste, nor distinction, nor station, nor grade,
All who dwell there are equal in might.
Apollo has quickened her poets with song,
All her warriors brother with Mars,
And the fame of achievement's eternity-long,
Where the sun will not die for the stars.

Still it's no place for me, and it's no place for you,
For it lies in the Valley of Dreams,
Where nothing is real and nothing is true,
And nothing is ancient and nothing is new,
And nothing is quite what it seems.

So we'd both best beware, lest we stray in the path
That meanders to IF from our door,
For it's hard to resist when we bend 'neath the load
Of life's burdens and feel them grow sore.
It's hard not to long for the castles of jade,
Not to long for the gold of her streams,
But it's harder to pay the full price to be paid,
When we have to come home from the journey we've made,
When we have to come back from the anguishing glade,
From the heart-breaking Valley of Dreams.





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