The Light of Dreams
Last night I walked in happy dreams,
The paths I used to know;
I heard a sound of running streams,
And saw the violets blow;
I breathed a scent of daffodils;
And faint and far withdrawn,
A light upon the distant hills,
Like morning, led me on.
And childish hands clung fast to mine,
And little pattering feet
Trod with me thro’ the still sunshine
Of by-ways green and sweet;
The flax-flower eyes of tender blue,
The locks of palest gold,
Were just the eyes and locks I knew
And loved, and lost—of old!
By many a green familiar lane
Our pathway seemed to run
Between long fields of waving grain,
And slopes of dew and sun;
And still we seemed to breathe alway
A scent of daffodils,
And that soft light of breaking day
Shone on the distant hills.
And out of slumber suddenly
I seemed to wake, and know
The little feet, that followed me,
Were ashes long ago!
And in a burst of rapturous tears
I clung to her and said:
“Dear Pitty-pat! The lonesome years
They told me you were dead!
“O, when the mother drew, of old,
About her loving knee
The little heads of dusk and gold,
I know that we were three!
And then there was an empty chair—
A stillness, strange and new:
We could not find you anywhere—
And we were only two!”
She pointed where serenely bright
The hills yet glowed afar:
“Sweet sister, yon ineffable light
Is but the gates ajar!
And evermore, by night and day,
We children still are three,
Tho’ I have gone a little way
To open the gates,” said she.
Then all in colors faint and fine
The morning round me shone,
The little hands slipt out of mine,
And I was left alone;
But still I smelled the daffodils,
I heard the running streams;
And that far glory on the hills—
Was it the light of dreams?