THE ROOM BENEATH THE RAFTERS.

Sometimes, when I have dropped asleep,
    Draped in a soft, luxurious gloom,
Across my drowsy mind will creep
    The memory of another room,
Where resinous knots in roof-boards made
A frescoing of light and shade,
And sighing poplars brushed their leaves
Against the humbly sloping eaves.

Again, I fancy in my dreams
    I'm lying in my trundle bed ;
I seem to see the bare old beams
    And unhewn rafters overhead ;
The hornet's shrill falsetto hum
I hear again, and see him come
Forth from his mud-walled hanging house,
Dressed in his black and yellow blouse.

There, summer dawns, in sleep I stirred,
    And wove into my fair dream's woof
The chattering of a martin bird,
    Or rain-drops pattering on the roof.
Or, half awake and half in fear,
I saw the spider spinning near
His pretty castle, where the fly
Should come to ruin by-and-by.

And there I fashioned from my brain
    Youth's shining structures in the air ;
I did not wholly build in vain,
    For some were lasting, firm and fair ;
And I am one who lives to say
My life has held more gold than gray,
And that the splendor of the real
Surpassed my early dream's ideal.

But still I love to wander back
    To that old time, and that old place ;
To thread my way o'er memory's track,
    And catch the early morning's grace
In that quaint room beneath the rafter,
That echoed to my childish laughter ;
To dream again the dreams that grew
More beautiful as they came true.

                       --[Ella Wilcox, in Youth's Companion.

Sacramento Daily Record-Union 3 Jan. 1885: [3.]

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


Back to Poem Index