James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Dream - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Because her eyes were far too deep
And holy for a laugh to leap
Across the brink where sorrow tried
To drown within the amber tide;
Because the looks, whose ripples kissed
The trembling lids through tender mist,
Were dazzled with a radiant gleam--
Because of this I called her 'Dream.'

Because the roses growing wild
About her features when she smiled
Were ever dewed with tears that fell
With tenderness ineffable;
Because her lips might spill a kiss
That, dripping in a world like this,
Would tincture death's myrrh-bitter stream
To sweetness--so I called her 'Dream.'

Because I could not understand
The magic touches of a hand
That seemed, beneath her strange control,
To smooth the plumage of the soul
And calm it, till, with folded wings,
It half forgot its flutterings,
And, nestled in her palm, did seem
To trill a song that called her 'Dream.'

Because I saw her, in a sleep
As dark and desolate and deep
And fleeting as the taunting night
That flings a vision of delight
To some lorn martyr as he lies
In slumber ere the day he dies--
Because she vanished like a gleam
Of glory, do I call her 'Dream.'


Comments about Dream by James Whitcomb Riley

  • (8/13/2019 7:26:00 PM)

    Is she a dream? I think not. But, is she in reality someone who is as a dream come true? I think so. Did her life and death inspire the poem? I think so. And a way to react to a loved one's death with a testimonial to her instead of pity for oneself for the loss. (Report)Reply

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  • Ruta Mohapatra (8/13/2019 11:46:00 AM)

    Such beautiful poetry! Rich, flowing and glowing! (Report)Reply

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  • Kenneth Maswabi (8/13/2019 6:46:00 AM)

    It is a beautiful poem full of beautiful words...thank you. (Report)Reply

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  • (8/13/2019 2:05:00 AM)

    Embodiment of celestial beauty that visited like a fairy in dream and her refined features, majestic looks and tenderness in her movements compels to call her a celestial dream Great captivating poem. Well deserved modern poem of the Day. (Report)Reply

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  • Aniruddha Pathak (8/13/2019 12:46:00 AM)

    Because she vanished like a gleam
    Of glory, do I call her 'Dream.'....
    What a lovely piece written so well!
    Thank God, it is a Modern Poem, but not so modern,
    the kind of stuff seen now so often.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Khairul Ahsan (8/14/2018)

    The last stanza, particularly, is very fascinating. Loved it. (Report)Reply

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  • Savita Tyagi (8/13/2018 9:56:00 AM)

    An excellent and visionary poem. One that demands a reader to read it again and again and be merged in those Dream like words. (Report)Reply

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  • Adrian Flett (8/13/2018 4:59:00 AM)

    A wonderful weave of fantasy made vibrant by the rhyme and rhythm (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Mahtab Bangalee (8/13/2018 4:05:00 AM)

    Beautiful touching of dream-


    Because I saw her, in a sleep
    As dark and desolate and deep
    And fleeting as the taunting night
    That flings a vision of delight


    greatly penned
    (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (8/13/2017 4:04:00 PM)

    That is how to refrain- - repeat but with a difference until you harrow your readers' souls. (Report)Reply

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  • Seamus O Brian (8/13/2017 3:02:00 PM)

    A skillfully woven tapestry of praise for a mysterious and intriguing subject. Interestingly, there is no real mention of physical beauty here, yet this reader is left with the sense that I have been in the presence of a deep and significant beauty far transcending physical features. (Report)Reply

    Susan Williams(8/13/2017 4:05:00 PM)

    Ah... I missed that. Well done, Seamus.

    3 person liked.
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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/13/2017 2:35:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem having stunning and thrilling expression. Thanks and congratulation to his soul. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (8/13/2017 2:25:00 AM)

    Reminds me of the song DREAM ON popularized by NAZARETH.... (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/13/2017 1:03:00 AM)

    Nestled in her palm! Thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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