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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald

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Some dreams, in slumber's twilight, sly

Through the ivory wicket creep;

Then suddenly the inward eye

Sees them outside the sleep.

Once, wandering in the border gray,

I spied one past me swim;

caught it on its truant way To nowhere in the dim.

All o'er a steep of grassy ground,

Lay ruined statues old,

Such forms as never more are found

Save deep in ancient mould,

host of marble Anakim
Shattered in deadly fight!

Oh, what a wealth one broken limb

Had been to waking sight!

But sudden, the weak mind to mock

That could not keep its own,

Without a shiver or a shock,

Behold, the dream was gone!

For each dim form of marble rare

Stood broken rush or reed;

So bends on autumn field, long bare,

Some tall rain-battered weed.

The shapeless night hung empty, drear,

O'er my scarce slumbering head;

There is no good in staying here,

My spirit moaned, and fled.

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