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Dreams by Edgar Allan Poe

Analysis

This poem, "Dreams", is written like a dream--shifting from emotion to emotion, memory to memory, and mood to mood. It states that sometimes it is better to be sad in dreams than sad awake. However, it is better to be awake when happy than asleep when happy. Who can't agree with this? Obviously, the idea is not something new. However, Poe's use of words and emotions are what sets his works apart from John Doe's.

"Dreams" is written as only two stanzas with one considerably longer than the other. This seemingly long poem is written as rhyming couplets.

Poem

Dreams
By 

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
'Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be- that dream eternally
Continuing- as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood- should it thus be given,
'Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revell'd, when the sun was bright
I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light
And loveliness,- have left my very heart
In climes of my imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought- what more could I have seen?
'Twas once- and only once- and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass- some power
Or spell had bound me- 'twas the chilly wind
Came o'er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit- or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly- or the stars- howe'er it was
That dream was as that night-wind- let it pass.

I have been happy, tho' in a dream.
I have been happy- and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid coloring of life,
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality, which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love- and all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

Published in .

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Nationality
American

Literary Movement
Romanticism, 19th Century

Subjects
Dream, Memory, Happiness, Sadness