New poems and variant readings/I dreamed of forest alleys fair
I DREAMED OF FOREST ALLEYS FAIR
I DREAMED of forest alleys fair
And fields of gray-flowered grass,
Where by the yellow summer moon
My Jenny seemed to pass.
I dreamed the yellow summer moon,
Behind a cedar wood,
Lay white on fields of rippling grass
Where I and Jenny stood.
I dreamed—but fallen through my dream
In a rainy land I lie
Where wan wet morning crowns the hills
Of grim reality.
I am as one that keeps awake
All night in the month of June,
That lies awake in bed to watch
The trees and great white moon.
For memories of love are more
Than the white moon there above
And dearer than quiet moonshine
Are the thoughts of her I love.
Last night I lingered long without
My last of loves to see.
Alas! the moon-white window-panes
Stared blindly back on me.
To-day I hold her very hand,
Her very waist embrace—
Like clouds across a pool, I read
Her thoughts upon her face.
And yet, as now, through her clear eyes
I seek the inner shrine—
I stoop to read her virgin heart
In doubt if it be mine—
O looking long and fondly thus,
What vision should I see?
No vision, but my own white face
That grins and mimics me.
Once more upon the same old seat
In the same sunshiny weather,
The elm-trees' shadows at their feet
And foliage move together.
The shadows shift upon the grass,
The dial point creeps on;
The clear sun shines, the loiterers pass,
As then they passed and shone.
But now deep sleep is on my heart,
Deep sleep and perfect rest.
Hope's flutterings now disturb no more
The quiet of my breast.