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I. I. How like a Dream this I see and hear. SHAKSPERE.
HOW he sleepeth! having drunken HOW he sleepeth! having drunken HOW he sleepeth! having drunken HOW he sleepeth! having drunken Weary childhood’s mandragore, Weary childhood’s mandragore, Weary childhood’s mandragore! Weary childhood’s mandragore! From his pretty eyes have sunken From his pretty eyes have sunken From its pretty eyes have sunken From his pretty eyes have sunken Pleasures, to make room for more— Pleasures, to make room for more— Pleasures to make room for more— Pleasures to make room for more— Sleeping near the withered nosegay, which he pulled the day before.

Sleeping near the withered nosegay, which he pulled the day before.

Sleeping near the wither’d nosegay which he pulled the day before.

Sleeping near the withered nosegay, which he pulled the day before.


II. II.
Nosegays! leave them for the waking! Nosegays! leave them for the waking: Nosegays! leave them for the waking: Nosegays! Leave them for the waking— Throw them earthward where they grew. Throw them earthward where they grew. Throw them earthward where they grew. Throw them earthwards where they grew! Dim are such, beside the breaking Dim are such, beside the breaking Dim are such, beside the breaking Dim are they beside the breaking Amaranths he looks unto— Amaranths he looks unto— Amaranths he looks unto— Amaranths he looks unto!— Folded eyes see brighter colours than the open ever do.

Sleeping near the withered nosegay, which he pulled the day before.

Folded eyes see brighter colours than the open ever do.

Clos’d eyes see brighter colours than the open ever do!


III. III.
Vapour-white is either eyelid, Large as through a vapour seem To him earthly things defiled, Magnified from sight to dream,— Glorified — O earthly sadness, hidden by a heavenly beam!


Heaven-flowers, rayed by shadows golden Heaven-flowers, rayed by shadows golden Heaven-flowers, rayed by shadows golden From the palms they sprang beneath, From the palms they sprang beneath, From the palms they sprang beneath, Now perhaps divinely holden, Now perhaps divinely holden, Now perhaps divinely holden, Swing against him in a wreath— Swing against him in a wreath— Swing against him in a wreath— We may think so from the quickening of his bloom and of his breath.

We may think so from the quickening of his bloom and of his breath.

We may think so from the quickening of his bloom and of his breath.


IV. IV.
Vision unto vision calleth, Vision unto vision calleth, Vision unto vision calleth, Vision unto vision calleth While the young child dreameth on. While the young child dreameth on. While the young child dreameth on. While the young boy dreameth on; Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth With the glory thou hast won! With the glory thou hast won! With the glory thou hast won! With the radiance thou hast won! Darker wert thou in the garden, yestermorn, by summer sun.

Darker wert thou in the garden, yestermorn, by summer sun.

Darker wert thou in the garden yestermorn by summer sun.

Darker wert thou in the garden, yesternoon, by summer sun.
V. V.
Shapes of glory overlean thee, Shapes of beauty, love, and youth! Who would waken that had seen thee Sleeping, smiling—not, in sooth, Thine own smile—but the over-fair one dropped from some ethereal mouth!
We should see the spirits ringing We should see the spirits ringing We should see the spirits ringing Ask ye, readers, why enringing Round thee,—were the clouds away! Round thee,—were the clouds away. Round thee,—were the clouds away. Shapes etherial near him stay? 'Tis the child-heart draws them, singing ’Tis the child-heart draws them, singing ’Tis the child heart draws them, singing ’Tis the child-heart keeps them, singing In the silent-seeming clay— In the silent-seeming clay— In the silent-seeming clay— In his silent-seeming clay! Singing!—Stars that seem the mutest, go in music all the way.

Singing!—Stars that seem the mutest, go in music all the way.

Singing!—stars that seem the mutest, go in music all the way.

Singing! Stars that seem the mutest in a music go their way.
VI. VI.
As the moths around a taper, As the moths around a taper, As the moths around a taper, As the bees around a rose, As the bees around a rose, As the bees around a rose, As in sunset, many a vapour,— As the gnats around a vapour,— As the gnats around a vapour,— So the spirits group and close So the spirits group and close So the spirits group and close Round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose.

Round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose.

Round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose.


VII. VII.
As he dreams, so we are dreaming Fain with song and tale to keep In our leaves the ever-beaming Forms of art, and mark their sweep. Touch the volume kindly, readers! trouble not our ’chanted sleep.


Shapes of brightness overlean thee, Shapes of brightness overlean thee,— Shapes of brightness overlean thee,— With their diadems of youth Flash their diadems of youth Flash their diadems of youth Striking on thy ringlets sheenly,—, On the ringlets which half screen thee,— On the ringlets which half screen thee,— While thou smilest, . . not in sooth While thou smilest, . . not in sooth While thou smilest . . not in sooth Thy smile . . but the overfair one, dropt from some ætherial mouth.

Thy smile . . but the overfair one, dropt from some ætherial mouth.

Thy smile . . but the overfair one, dropt from some ætherial mouth.


VIII. VIII.
Lovely ladies of our Britain, Lovely ladies o’er the sea, By the true loves near you sitting Or, forsooth, who ought to be,— Softly, by the light of smiling, turn the pages on your knee!


Haply it is angels’ duty, Haply it is angels’ duty, Haply it is angels’ duty, During slumber, shade by shade During slumber, shade by shade During slumber, shade by shade To fine down this childish beauty To fine down this childish beauty To fine down this childish beauty To the thing it must be made, To the thing it must be made, To the thing it must be made, Ere the world shall bring it praises, or the tomb shall see it fade.

Ere the world shall bring it praises, or the tomb shall see it fade.

Ere the world shall bring it praises, or the tomb shall see it fade.


IX. IX.
Softly, softly! make no noises! Softly, softly! make no noises! Softly, softly! make no noises! Softly, softly! make no noises, Now he lieth dead and dumb— Now he lieth dead and dumb— Now he lieth dead and dumb— Critical of verse or prose! Now he hears the angels’ voices Now he hears the angels’ voices Now he hears the angels’ voices They assert our inward voices, Folding silence in the room— Folding silence in the room— Folding silence in the room— Charming fast the graphic shows— Now he muses deep the meaning of the Heaven-words as they come.

Now he muses deep the meaning of the Heaven-words as they come.

Now he muses deep the meaning of the Heaven-words as they come.

While a hope to give you pleasure roundeth all the dream’s repose.


X. X.
Speak not! he is consecrated— Speak not! he is consecrated— Speak not! he is consecrated— Breathe no breath across his eyes. Breathe no breath across his eyes. Breathe no breath across his eyes. Lifted up and separated Lifted up and separated Lifted up and separated On the hand of God he lies, On the hand of God he lies, On the hand of God he lies, In a sweetness beyond touching,—held in cloistral sanctities.

In a sweetness beyond touching,—held in cloistral sanctities.

In a sweetness beyond touching,—held in cloistral sanctities.


XI. XI.
Could ye bless him—father—mother? Could ye bless him—father—mother? Could ye bless him—father—mother? Nathless if the young boy’s mother Bless the dimple in his cheek? Bless the dimple in his cheek? Bless the dimple in his cheek? (Which is woman’s highest name) Dare ye look at one another, Dare ye look at one another, Dare ye look at one another, Saw him sleeping—could another, And the benediction speak? And the benediction speak? And the benediction speak? Though aloud she blessed him, blame?— Would ye not break out in weeping, and confess yourselves too weak?

Would ye not break out in weeping, and confess yourselves too weak?

Would ye not break out in weeping, and confess yourselves too weak?

Nor, sweet ladies, should we blame you, though ye blessed US the same.


XII. XII. E.B.B.
He is harmless—ye are sinful,— He is harmless—ye are sinful,— He is harmless—ye are sinful,— Ye are troubled—he, at ease! Ye are troubled—he, at ease: Ye are troubled—he, at ease: From his slumber, virtue winful From his slumber, virtue winful From his slumber, virtue winful Floweth outward with increase— Floweth outward with increase— Floweth outward with increase! Dare not bless him! but be blessed by his peace—and go in peace.

Dare not bless him! but be blessed by his peace—and go in peace.

Dare not bless him! but be blessed by his peace—and go in peace.