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The river of dreams runs murmuring down, Through the fairest garden that ever grew; And I catch, as my boat goes drifting


A mingled music that seems to drown
The river’s whisper, and charms my ear
With a sound I have often longed to hear,—
A magical harmony, strange and new,

A wild-rose ballad, a lilac-song,
A virginal chant from the lilies’ throng,

Blue-bells silverly ringing,

Pansies merrily singing, —

For all the flowers have found their voice ; And I feel no wonder, but only rejoice, While the river of dreams runs down.

The river of dreams runs broadening down, Away from the peaceful garden-shore, With a current that deepens more and more,

By the league-long walls of a mighty town.

I see the hurrying crowds of men

Dissolve like clouds and gather again,

But never a face I have seen before ;

For they come and go, and they shift and change,

And even the forms and the dresses are strange :

This is a city haunted,

A multitude enchanted !

At the sight of the throng I am dumb with
For never a sound from their lips I hear,

As the river of dreams runs down.

The river of dreams runs wildly down
Into the heart of a desolate land,
By ruined temples half-buried in sand,
Thro’ a cleft of the hills, whose black brows
Over the shuddering, lonely wave,
While the air grows dim with the dust of
the grave.
No sign of life on the dreary strand ;
No ray of light on the mountain’s crest;
And a weary wind that cannot rest
Comes down the valley creeping,
Lamenting, wailing, weeping, —
I strive to cry out, but my fluttering breath
Is choked with the clinging fog of death,
While the river of dreams runs down.

The river of dreams runs swiftly down,
Out of the valley of nameless fear,
Into a country calm and clear,
With a mystical name of high renown,—
A name that I know, but may not tell, —
And there the friends that I loved so well
The long-lost comrades, forever dear,
Come beckoning down to the river shore,
And hail my boat with the voice of yore.
Fair and sweet are the places
Where I see their unchanged faces!
And I feel in my heart with a secret thrill,
That the loved and lost are living still,
While the river of dreams runs down.

The river of dreams runs silently down
By a secret way that no man knows ;
But the soul lives on while the dream-tide

flows Through the gardens bright, or the forests brown; And I think sometimes that our whole life seems

To be more than half made up of dreams. For its changing sights, and its passing shows, And its morning hopes, and its midnight fears, Are left behind with the vanished years. Onward, with ceaseless motion, The life-stream flows to the ocean, — And we follow the tide, awake or asleep, Till we see the dawn on Love’s great deep, When the bar at the harbour-mouth is crossed, And the river of dreams in the sea is lost.

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