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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

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Dream-Love


Young Love lies sleeping
In May-time of the year,
Among the lilies,
Lapped in the tender light:
White lambs come grazing,
White doves come building there:
And round about him
The May-bushes are white.

Soft moss the pillow
For oh, a softer cheek;
Broad leaves cast shadow
Upon the heavy eyes:
There wind and waters
Grow lulled and scarcely speak;
There twilight lingers
The longest in the skies.

Young Love lies dreaming;
But who shall tell the dream?
A perfect sunlight
On rustling forest tips;
Or perfect moonlight
Upon a rippling stream;
Or perfect silence,
Or song of cherished lips.

Burn odours round him
To fill the drowsy air;
Weave silent dances
Around him to and fro;
For oh, in waking
The sights are no so fair,
And song and silence
Are not like these below.

Young Love lies dreaming
Till summer days are gone, -
Dreaming and drowsing
Away to perfect sleep:
He sees the beauty
Sun hath not looked upon,
And tastes the fountain
Unutterably deep.

Him perfect music
Doth hush unto his rest,
And through the pauses
The perfect silence calms:
Oh, poor the voices
Of earth from east to west,
And poor earth's stillness
Between her stately palms.

Young Love lies drowsing
Away to poppied death;
Cool shadows deepen
Across the sleeping face:
So fails the summer
With warm delicious breath;
And what hath autumn
To give us in its place?

Draw close the curtains
Of branched evergreen;
Change cannot touch them
With fading fingers sere:
Here first the violets
Perhaps with bud unseen,
And a dove, may be,
Return to nestle here.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: silence, summer, song, autumn, change, music, dream, beauty, sleep, wind, death, sun, light, love, dance, water, sky

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  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (7/23/2010 5:20:00 PM)

    Sometimes I don't know where to start, I says to myself, in the great scheme of things as the world goes by, leaving me and my mates adrift in the universe, know what I mean? Craddock in his usual irrelevant and long-winded way goes on and on, and in the end says we Americans who saved his nation from total destruction in WW2 owe its survival to the USSR and Josef Stalin! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (7/23/2010 7:09:00 AM)

    Dream-Love by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, is a poem written in the highly idealized pastoral manner about love’s dream world, of summer peace and perfection. Sadly the real world is not like this. There is always a national leader prepared to invade and occupy other countries, defying the Geneva Conventions, while justifying such actions with political propaganda.
    “The exhaustion of a society (the Victorian/Edwardian) which, in winning everything, has nowhere now to go but a deathly sleep.” No, this society did not win everything, although it created an Empire that once spanned a quarter of the world. Nor did the British Empire sleep, it transformed into a Commonwealth of Nations, which under the resolute leadership of Winston Churchill, inflicted the first military setbacks and defeats upon Nazi Germany.
    It was Churchill who during The Battle of Britain, on August 26 1940, ordered 81 RAF Hampden bombers to attack Berlin during those dark days of battle, while England stood alone, about to suffer a merciless London Blitz. The nightmare spread into Russia, which halted this Blitzkrieg in Europe, again with resolute leadership courage and determination, while America in a deadly sleep of indifference; slept on nowhere to be seen.
    This saving grace and legacy of the Victorian era can still be read, because Churchill’s “magnificent oratory survives in a dozen volumes of speeches, among them The Unrelenting Struggle (1942) , The Dawn of Liberation (1945) , and Victory (1946) .” (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Soumyendu Biswas (7/23/2009 6:31:00 AM)

    Not until autumn....
    The sleep is rather permanent and obviously the result of unnecessary violence.. else the gem of a poem wouldn't have been so melancholic (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (7/23/2009 5:28:00 AM)

    There is something chilling about the idea of young love sleeping from May till Autumn. As Kimberly Kastner says this poem is 'pretty', but it is the prettiness of the graveyard. One feels, reading this poem, the exhaustion of a society (the Victorian/Edwardian) which, in winning everything, has nowhere now to go but a deathly sleep. (Report) Reply

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