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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Dreams


  1. john says:

    i like this poem and i translated most of poe’s poems into arabic. i love his poetry and i like his short stories.

  2. Fred Jacobs says:

    One of Poe’s best & most deeply felt poems, with only one really bad line (“…and I love the theme”). I connect it to his memory of Europe which he returns to again and again in his stories, though in fact he was very unhappy there.
    “Tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,/ ‘Twere better than the cold reality / Of waking life, to him whose heart must be…/A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.”
    Caution to those who use the Norton edition (“Selected Writings”). Besides its overuse of trivial footnotes, the book is marred by typos on dozens of pages. In this poem, a whole line is garbled: Line 16 (“Inclines of mine imaginary, apart…”) should read “In climes of my imagining, apart” (!). A pity because some of the essays are very good.

  3. louis says:

    it’s cool

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