Was there a summer of sun and bloom,
Of perfume and tropical scents like musk?
Did some one come in the twilight's gloom,
And go when the fair moon lit the dusk
With her soft pervading beam?
No. it was only a dream.

Was there laughter and love and light,
And murmured sounds on the portico?
Did the world seem beautiful, fair and bright?
Were there passionate eyes that shone in the glow
Of a fine cigar's red gleam?
No. it was only a dream.

Was there a path thro' a summer wood?
Were there bright-winged birds that were mad with mirth?
Was there a heart that thought life good,
And heaven no fairer than this old earth?
Was there a laughing stream?
No: it was only a dream.

Only a dream of a sleeper's brain.
There was no summer of bloom and sun.
And the world is troubled and full of pain,
And the woods are leafless, and bare, and dun.
There was never a bird that sang at all;
And nothing but rain on the portico;
And never a season but sad old Fall,
In this desolate earth, I know.
Nothing is as it seems.
Dreams, pitiful dreams.
Dreams, pitiful dreams!

Peterson's Magazine (March 1882): p. 219.

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