Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

(22 March 1808 – 15 June 1877 / London)

As When From Dreams Awaking Poem by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton


AS when from dreams awaking
The dim forms float away
Whose visioned smiles were making
Our darkness bright as day;
We vainly strive, while weeping,
From their shining spirit track,
(Where they fled while we were sleeping,)
To call those dear ones back!

Like the stars, some power divides them
From a world of want and pain;
They are there, but daylight hides them,
And we look for them in vain.
For a while we dwell with sadness,
On the beauty of that dream,

Then turn, and hail with gladness
The light of morning's beam.

So, when memory's power is wringing
Our lonely hearts to tears,
Dim forms around us bringing
That brightened former years:
Fond looks and low words spoken,
Which those dreamy days could boast,
Rise; till the spell be broken,
We forget that they are lost!

But when the hour of darkness rolls
Like heavy night away;
And peace is stealing o'er our souls,
Like the dawn of summer day:
The dim sweet forms that used to bless,
Seem stealing from us too;
We loved them-but joy's sunniness
Hath hid them from our view!

Oh could day beam eternally,
And Memory's power cease,
This world, a world of light would be,
Our hearts were worlds of peace:

But dreams of joy return with night,
And dwell upon the past-
And every grief that clouds our light,
Reminds us of the last!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Edited: Monday, March 12, 2012

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