Madison Julius Cawein

(1865-1914 / the United States)

The Old Dreamer - Poem by Madison Julius Cawein

COME, let's climb into our attic,
In our house that's old and gray!
Life, you're old and I'm rheumatic,
And — it's close of day.
Lay aside your rags and tatters,
Shirt and shoes so soiled with clay!
They're no use now. Nothing matters—
It is close of day.
Let's to bed. It's cold. No fire.
And no lamp to make a ray.—
Where's our servant, young Desire?—
Gone at close of day.
Oft she served us with fine glances,
Helped us out at work and play:
She is gone now; better chances;
And it's close of day.
Where is Hope, who flaunted scarlet?
Hope, who led us oft astray?
Has she proved herself a harlot
At the close of day?
What's become of Dream and Vision?
Friends we thought were here to stay?
Has life clapped the two in prison
At the close of day?
They are gone; and how we miss them!
They who made our garret gay.
How we used to hug and kiss them! —
But —'tis close of day.
Where's friend Love now? — Who supposes? —
Has he flung himself away?
Left us for a wreath of roses
At the close of day?
And where's Song? the soul elected —
Has he quit us too for aye? —
Was it poverty he suspected
Near the close of day?
How our attic rang their laughter!
How it echoed laugh and lay!
None may take their place hereafter? —
It is close of day.
We have done the best we could do.
Let us kneel awhile and pray.
Now, no matter what we would do,
It is close of day.
Let's to bed then! It's December.
Long enough since it was May! —
Let's forget it, and remember
Now 'tis close of day.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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