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Dream

Anna Hempstead Branch

But now the Dream has come again, the world is as of old.
Once more I feel about my breast the heartening splendors fold.
Now I am back in that good place from which my footsteps came,
And I am hushed of any grief and have laid by my shame.
I know not by what road I came — oh wonderful and fair!
Only I know I ailed for thee and that thou wert not there.
Then suddenly Time's stalwart wall before thee did divide,
Its solid bastions dreamed and swayed and there was I inside.
It is thy nearness makes thee seem so wonderful and far.
In that deep sky thou art obscured as in the noon, a star.
But when the darkness of my grief swings up the mid-day sky,
My need begets a shining world.  Lo, in thy light am I.
All that I used to be is there and all I yet shall be.
My laughter deepens in the air, my quiet in the tree.
My utter tremblings of delight are manna from the sky,
And shining flower-like in the grass my innocencies lie.
And here I run and sleep and laugh and have no name at all.
Only if God should speak to me then I would heed the call.
And I forget the curious ways, the alien looks of men,
For even as it was of old, so is it now again.
Still every angel looks the same and all the folks are there
That are so bounteous and mild and have not any care.
But kindest to me is the one I would most choose to be.
She is so beautiful and sheds such loving looks on me.
She is so beautiful — and lays her cheek against my own.
Back — in the world — they all will say, "How happy you have grown."
Her breath is sweet about my eyes and she has healed me now,
Though I be scarred with grief, I keep her kiss upon my brow.
All day, sweet land, I fight for thee outside the goodly wall,
And 'twixt my breathless wounds I have no sight of thee at all!
And sometimes I forget thy looks and what thy ways may be!
I have denied thou wert at all — yet still I fight for thee.

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