A Song of Dreams

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A Song of Dreams  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1912.

A voice came to me from the night, and said,
What profit hast thou in thy dreaming
Of the years that are set
And the years yet unrisen ?
Hast thou found them tillable lands ?
Is there fruit that thou canst pluck therein,
Or any harvest to be mown ?
Shalt thou dig for gold in the mines of the past,
Or trade for merchandise
In the years where all is desolate ?
Are they a sea that will bring thee to any shore,
Or a desert that vergeth upon aught but the waste ?
Shalt thou drink From the springs that are emptied,
Or find sustenance in shadows ?
What value hath the future given thee ?
Is there aught in the days yet dark
That thou canst hold with thy hands ?
Are they a fortress
That will afford thee protection
Against the swords of the world ?
Is there justice in them
To balance the world's inequity,,
Or benefit to outweigh its loss ?

Then spake I in answer, saying,
Of my dreams I have made a road,
And my soul goeth out thereon
To that unto which no eye has opened,
Nor ear become keen to hearken:
To the glories that are shut past all access
Of the keys of sense;
Whose walls are hidden by the air,
And whose doors are concealed with clarity
And the road is travelled of secret things,
Coming to me from afar;
Of bodiless powers,
And beauties without color or form
Holden by any loveliness seen of earth.
And of my dreams I have builded an inn
Wherein these are as guests.
And unto it come the dead
For a little rest and refuge
From the hollowness of the unharvestable wind,
And the burden of too great space.

The fields of the past are not void to me,
Who harvest with the scythe of thought;
Nor the orchards of future years unfruitful
To the hands of visionings.
I have retrieved from the darkness
The years and the things that were lost,
And they are held in the light of my dreams
With the spirits of years unborn
And of things yet bodiless.
As in an hospitable house,
They shall live while the dreams abide.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.