Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PICTURE, by BAYARD TAYLOR

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A PICTURE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Sometimes, in sleeping dreams of night
Last Line: And from my heart the woe.
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Dreams; Hearts; Love; Portraits; Nightmares

SOMETIMES, in sleeping dreams of night,
Or waking dreams of day,
The selfsame picture seeks my sight
And will not fade away.

I see a valley, cold and still,
Beneath a leaden sky:
The woods are leafless on the hill,
The fields deserted lie.

The gray November eve benumbs
The damp and cheerless air;
A wailing from the forest comes,
As of the world's despair.

But on the verge of night and storm,
Far down the valley's line,
I see the lustre, red and warm,
Of cottage windows shine.

And men are housed, and in their place
In snug and happy rest,
Save one, who walks with weary pace
The highway's frozen breast.

His limbs, that tremble with the cold,
Shrink from the coming storm;
But underneath his mantle's fold
His heart beats quick and warm.

He hears the laugh of those who sit
In Home's contented air;
He sees the busy shadows flit
Across the window's glare.

His heart is full of love unspent,
His eyes are wet and dim;
For in those circles of content
There is no room for him.

He clasps his hands and looks above,
He makes the bitter cry:
'All, all are happy in their love, --
All are beloved but I!"

Across no threshold streams the light,
Expectant, o'er his track;
No door is opened on the night,
To bid him welcome back.

There is no other man abroad
In all the wintry vale,
And lower upon his lonely road
The darkness and the gale.

I see him through the doleful shades
Press onward, sad and slow,
Till from my dream the picture fades,
And from my heart the woe.

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