The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

The Dreams

When I am sleeping I go in dreams

Far from the children and the man beside,

I meet with the dead and talk, nor strange it seems,

Since I've forgotten that they ever died.

They come in so quietly, the loved and lost.

There is so much to say in a short while.

Nowise strange it is that a dear ghost

Should be as the living and be glad and smile.

In the old garden we go hand in hand.

When friends are long parted there is much to say,

Much to be explaining and to understand.

We walk in old gardens in a long-dead May.

Breasting the hill we go we skirt the wheat,

By houses and gardens that once I knew.

All too fast the time goes when old friends meet.

Sure, I was starved for you, and you, and you!

Was I forgetting, then, the patient dead?

Mercy of mercies that in dreams they live!

They come seeking and finding me upon my bed.

In dreams they comfort me, in dreams forgive.

They come to me in my dreams, not cold and lone.

Oh, never sad ghosts they come to fret my sleep,

But just as I knew them in the days long gone.

When I wake from my dreams I wake to weep.