The Yellow Book/Volume 1/A Dream of November

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Two Poems

By Edmund Gosse

II—A Dream of November

Far, far away, I know not where, I know not how,
The skies are grey, the boughs are bare, bare boughs in flower:
Long lilac silk is softly drawn from bough to bough,
With flowers of milk and buds of fawn, a broidered shower.

Beneath that tent an Empress sits, with slanted eyes,
And wafts of scent from censers flit, a lilac flood;
Around her throne bloom peach and plum in lacquered dyes,
And many a blown chrysanthemum, and many a bud.

She sits and dreams, while bonzes twain strike some rich bell,
Whose music seems a metal rain of radiant dye;
In this strange birth of various blooms, I cannot tell
Which spring from earth, which slipped from looms, which sank from sky.

Beneath her wings of lilac dim, in robes of blue,
The Empress sings a wordless hymn that thrills her bower;
My trance unweaves, and winds, and shreds, and forms anew
Dark bronze, bright leaves, pure silken threads, in triple flower.