Dream and the Song
published in The Book of American Negro Poetry, page 36-37
by New York: Harcourt Brace and Company Inc., 1922
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So oft our hearts, belovèd lute, In blossomy haunts of song are mute; So long we pore, ‘mid murmurings dull, O’er loveliness unutterable. So vain is all our passion strong! The dream is lovelier than the song. The rose thought, touched by words, doth turn Wan ashes. Still, from memory’s urn, The lingering blossoms tenderly Refute our wilding minstrelsy. Alas! we work but beauty’s wrong! The dream is lovelier than the song. Yearned Shelley o’er the golden flame? Left Keats for beauty’s lure, a name But "writ in water"? Woe is me! To grieve o’er flowerful faëry. My Phasian doves are flown so long— The dream is lovelier than the song! Ah, though we build a bower of dawn, The golden-wingèd bird is gone. And morn may gild, through shimmering leaves, Only the swallow-twittering eaves. What art may house or gold prolong A dream far lovelier than a song? The lilting witchery, the unrest Of wingèd dreams, is in our breast; But ever dear Fulfilment’s eyes Gaze otherward. The long-sought prize, My lute, must to the gods belong. The dream is lovelier than the song.
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