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Louise Bogan

(August 11, 1897 – February 4, 1970 / Maine)

The Dream


O God, in the dream the terrible horse began
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows,
Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane,
And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through his nose.

Coward complete, I lay and wept on the ground
When some strong creature appeared, and leapt for the rein.
Another woman, as I lay half in a swound
Leapt in the air, and clutched at the leather and chain.

Give him, she said, something of yours as a charm.
Throw him, she said, some poor thing you alone claim.
No, no, I cried, he hates me; he is out for harm,
And whether I yield or not, it is all the same.

But, like a lion in a legend, when I flung the glove
Pulled from my sweating, my cold right hand;
The terrible beast, that no one may understand,
Came to my side, and put down his head in love.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: horse, woman, dream, fear, alone, god, hate, women

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  • Mary Grant (5/1/2010 5:15:00 PM)

    The use of words in this poem is fantastic. Louise Bogan captured the reader by describing the fear that was felt from this horse. When she says 'Fear kept thirty-five years poured through his mane' it helps the reader fully understand the basis of this dream. Obviously the horse symbolizes the dreamer's fear of anything in their life. I was very drawn into this poem. (Report) Reply

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