Bush, Olivia Ward
|Dreams -- By The -- Driftwood Fire|
|My Dream of Long Ago -- (TO MY AUNT)|
I had a strange sweet dream long, long ago,
When in my years I yet was but a child,
And oft since then as I have dreamed it o'er
Its sweetness has my saddest hours beguiled.
It was that she who like my mother seemed
And I had travelled far and travelled long,
Her hand and mine together tightly clasped,
She with a thoughtful look, and I with song.
And walking thus our way led pleasantly
Mid winding paths on either side where grew
Rare flowers, their perfumes wafted on the breeze,
Which all around us their rich fragrance threw.
But soon our road turned suddenly aside,
Where rose a height of stony rugged ground,
No flowers bloomed upon this hilly waste,
Where sighing winds played mournfully around.
Below the hills, half-hidden, a tiny path
Went winding round and out into the road.
So smoothly did it keep its tiny way
It seemed a guide that nature had bestowed.
We paused, and she spoke there in tender tones,
"My child, you take the easy path around,
For I can better face the windy blast,
My feet can better tread the stony ground."
And I, who knew no will save hers alone,
Obeyed, and o'er the tiny pathway sped,
Oft looking up to see her bravely climb
The stony height with firm and steady tread.
And now the winds her garments roughly blew,
But she, unheeding their rude, blighting blast,
Pressed on, and when I from the pathway ran
We met, and hands again together clasped.
Before us stretched an endless smooth white road
Which ran beside the fairest verdant field
That ever mortal eye had looked upon
Or ever Nature's storehouse had revealed.
Above our heads the sun shone brightly now,
It seemed to thrill our hearts with hope anew
And shed upon our path a mellow light
Which all around us a soft radiance threw.
Thus hand in hand we lightly trod along
This pleasant road with neither curve or bend
When I awoke to find it all a dream
And we had never reached our journey's end.
And yet it may be that this very road,
The end of which we vainly tried to trace,
Might still have led to pastures far more fair,
We might have found some peaceful resting place.