Wherefore

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Wherefore in dreams are sorrows borne anew,
       A healed wound opened, or the past revived?
Last night in my deep sleep I dreamed of you;
       Again the old love woke in me, and thrived
On looks of fire, and kisses, and sweet words
       Like silver waters purling in a stream,
Or like the amorous melodies of birds:
              A dream—a dream!

Again upon the glory of the scene
       There settled that dread shadow of the cross
That, when hearts love too well, falls in between;
       That warns them of impending woe and loss.
Again I saw you drifting from my life,
       As barques are rudely parted in a stream;
Again my heart was torn with awful strife:
              A dream—a dream!

Again the deep night settled on me there,
       Alone I groped, and heard strange waters roll,
Lost in that blackness of supreme despair
       That comes but once to any living soul.
Alone, afraid, I called your name aloud—
       Mine eyes, unveiled, beheld white stars agleam,
And lo! awake, I cried, "Thank God, thank God!
              A dream—a dream!"

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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