Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A DREAM OF PERFECTION, by MARCUS S. C. RICKARDS

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A DREAM OF PERFECTION, by            
First Line: I found it in a vision fair
Last Line: A perfect soul, and form, and face.
Subject(s): Dreams; Love; Perfection; Soul; Time; Nightmares

I FOUND it in a vision fair --
All I had ever longed to find --
A face illumed by beauty rare
That ravished heart and mind,
With smile like sunlit waves, and eyes,
Whose blue disdained the sapphire skies --
A form superb whose lines and hue
No classic pencil ever drew.

And all, tho' wondrous bright, excelled
In glory by the quickening soul
That shone thro' the sweet face and held
The figure in control.
I felt that Virtue here displayed
What threw Mortality in shade --
Love, Truth and Purity, whose birth
Owed naught of parentage to Earth.

And yet, so wayward is a dream,
She looked like no unearthly guest,
But just a woman, and supreme,
As of her sex the best;
Before me flashed the archetype
Of my imaginings, the ripe
Perfection, that in sanguine hour
I deemed might haunt a mortal bower.

Ah me! that we should be the sport
Of wild expectancy -- that none
Of all with whom we here consort
May prove the hoped-for one.
We mingle, for each soul to paint
Her high ideal, soon to faint
As rude experience re-shows
The shadow cast by all that glows.

Our spirits weave a web of light
Round one whose casual look has power
To overcloud the image bright
Which fails us from that hour.
Or we who in each other's eyes
Read love and truth, with sad surprise,
Find coolness, guile, a shattered spell,
A sunny heaven changed to hell.

And so before such faultless grace
Of form and spirit low I bent;
And on me lingers still the trace
Of lofty passion spent.
For who shall blame my wild regret,
When half awake, with eyelids wet
I knew my radiant guest had flown,
And I, fond dreamer, was alone?

Alone -- and shall I never meet
The one for whom my spirit sighs?
Must Time and Sense for ever cheat
And visions tantalize?
Nay -- for as water to its source
Will rise -- as naught owns empty force,
Whate'er the shaping soul conceives
That fully, fondly, she receives.

We long, long hopelessly, we think,
For Truth in human guise, and lo!
'Twas mine, when hovering on the brink
Of Earth's dark portico.
Yet the fair visitant was more
Than Fancy fashions from her store.
Sleep! was all vain, all fugitive,
When thou to Adam Eve couldst give?

Ah! what if in pre-natal state
I loved some spirit, only mine,
When dreams unlock the golden gate
Of an unearthly Clime?
Or maybe happy Heaven cast
The shade before of what at last
I shall behold, admire, embrace
A perfect soul, and form, and face.

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