Charles Harpur

Here you will find the Poem Love, Dreaming of Death of poet Charles Harpur

Love, Dreaming of Death

I dreamt my little boys were dead 
 And I was sitting wild and lone; 
On closed unmoving knees my head 
 Lay rigid as a stone. 
And thus I sat without a tear, 
 And though I drew life?s painful breath, 
All life to me seemed cold and drear, 
 And comfortless as death: 

Sat on the earth as on a bier, 
 Where loss and ruin lived alone, 
Without the comfort of a tear? 
 Without a passing groan. 

And there was stillness everywhere, 
 Ensphering one wide sense of woe; 
The stillness of a world?s despair, 
 Whose tides had ceased to flow. 

Yea, so eternal seemed my grief, 
 Time moved out, neither slow nor fast, 
Nor recked I whether periods brief 
 Or centuries had passed. 

It was as if to marble cold 
 My loss had petrified the air, 
And I was shut within its hold, 
 Made deathless by despair. 

Made deathless in a world of death, 
 There ever sitting wild and lone, 
With all but one pent painful breath 
 Transmutted into stone. 

And more the gorgon horror crushed 
 With dry petrific pressure in, 
Till forth my waking spirit rushed 
 With agonizing din! 

And oh! What joy it was to wake? 
 To cast that haggard dream away, 
And from its stony influence break 
 Into the living day! 

I sought the objects of my care, 
 And felt, while I embraced the twain, 
How much even from a dream?s despair 
 A father?s love may gain. 

When this dream-record long ago 
 I penned, how little did I deem 
That yet a distant coming woe 
 Was shadowed in its theme. 

For ah! Of that beloved twain, 
 The lips of one, then warm with breath, 
I since have kissed unkissed again, 
 For they were cold in death. 

A swift wild death! And when I think 
 Of all that I have lost thereby, 
My heart hath pangs that seem to drink 
 All Mara?s waters dry; 

Yea, pangs that would my life destroy, 
 Did faith not whisper oft between: 
?Peace! Sire of an immortal boy 
 Beyond this mortal scene.?