Blithe Dreams Arise To Greet Us

William Ernest Henley 1849 (Gloucester) – 1903 (Woking)

Blithe dreams arise to greet us,
And life feels clean and new,
For the old love comes to meet us
In the dawning and the dew.
O'erblown with sunny shadows,
O'ersped with winds at play,
The woodlands and the meadows
Are keeping holiday.
Wild foals are scampering, neighing,
Brave merles their hautboys blow:
Come! let us go a-maying
As in the Long-Ago.

Here we but peak and dwindle:
The clank of chain and crane,
The whir of crank and spindle
Bewilder heart and brain;
The ends of our endeavour
Are merely wealth and fame,
Yet in the still Forever
We're one and all the same;
Delaying, still delaying,
We watch the fading west:
Come! let us go a-maying,
Nor fear to take the best.

Yet beautiful and spacious
The wise, old world appears.
Yet frank and fair and gracious
Outlaugh the jocund years.
Our arguments disputing,
The universal Pan
Still wanders fluting--fluting -
Fluting to maid and man.
Our weary well-a-waying
His music cannot still:
Come! let us go a-maying,
And pipe with him our fill.

When wanton winds are flowing
Among the gladdening glass;
Where hawthorn brakes are blowing,
And meadow perfumes pass;
Where morning's grace is greenest,
And fullest noon's of pride;
Where sunset spreads serenest,
And sacred night's most wide;
Where nests are swaying, swaying,
And spring's fresh voices call,
Come! let us go a-maying,
And bless the God of all!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". more…

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