Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

Wherefore


Wherefore in dreams are sorrows born anew,
A healed wound opened, or the past revived?
Last night in my deep sleep I dreamed of you –
Again the old love woke in me, and thrived
On looks of fire, and kisses, and sweet words
Like silver waters purling in a stream,
Or like the amorous melodies of birds:
A dream – a dream.

Again upon the glory of the scene
There settled that dread shadow of the cross
That, when hearts love too well, falls in between –
That warns them of impending woe and loss.
Again I saw you drifting from my life,
As barques are rudely parted in a stream;
Again my heart was torn with awful strife:
A dream –a dream.

Again the deep night settled on me there,
Alone I groped, and heard strange waters roll.
Lost in that blackness of supreme despair
That comes but once to any living soul.
Alone, afraid, I called your name aloud –
Mine eyes, unveiled, beheld white stars agleam,
And lo! awake, I cried, “Thank God, thank God,
A dream –a dream.”

Submitted: Saturday, May 31, 2003

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