Paul Verlaine

(1844-1896 / France)

Oft Do I Dream


Oft do I dream this strange and penetrating dream:
An unknown woman, whom I love, who loves me well,
Who does not every time quite change, nor yet quite dwell
The same,-and loves me well, and knows me as I am.

For she knows me! My heart, clear as a crystal beam
To her alone, ceases to be inscrutable
To her alone, and she alone knows to dispel
My grief, cooling my brow with her tears' gentle stream.

Is she of favor dark or fair?-I do not know.
Her name? All I remember is that it doth flow
Softly, as do the names of them we loved and lost.

Her eyes are like the statues',-mild and grave and wide;
And for her voice she has as if it were the ghost
Of other voices,-well-loved voices that have died.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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