Felicia Hemans in The Monthly Magazine Volume 5 1828/The Dreamer

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This poem was added to later editions of Forest Sanctuary and Songs of the Affections.

The Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, Page 584


There is no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind; a thousand accidents may, and will, interpose a veil between our present consciousness and the secret inscriptions on the mind; but alike, whether veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains for ever.—English Opium-eater.

Rest from thy griefs!—thou art sleeping now;
The moonlight's peace is upon thy brow:
All the deep love that o'erflows thy breast
Lies, 'midst the hush of thy heart, at rest;
Like the scent of a flower in its folded bell,
When Eve through the woodlands hath sighed farewell.

Rest!—the sad memories that through the day
With a weight on thy lonely bosom lay;
The sudden thoughts of the changed and dead,
That bowed thee, as winds bow the willow's head;
The yearnings for voices and faces gone;—
All are forgotten! Sleep on—sleep on!

Are they forgotten? It is not so!
Slumber divides not our hearts from their woe;
E'en now o'er thine aspect swift changes pass,
Like lights and shades over wavy grass:
Tremblest thou, Dreamer? O Love and Grief!
Ye have storms that shake e'en the closed-up leaf!

On thy parted lips there's a quivering thrill,
As on a lyre ere its chords are still;
On the long silk lashes that fringe thine eye
There's a large tear gathering heavily;
A rain from the clouds of thy spirit press'd!—
Sorrowful Dreamer! this is not rest.

It is Thought, at work amidst busied hours;
It is Love, keeping vigil o'er perished flowers.
—Oh! we bear within us mysterious things,
Of memory and anguish unfathomed springs,
And passion, those gulfs of the heart to fill
With bitter waves, which it ne'er may still!

Well might we pause ere we gave them sway,
Flinging the peace of our couch away!
Well might we look on our souls in fear;
They find no fount of oblivion here!
They forget not, the mantle of sleep beneath—
How know we, if under the wings of Death?
F. H.