Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
Dead
By John James Procter (1838–1909?)
 
OH, let me dream for a while
  Under the winter sky;
Dream of the light of a vanished smile,
  And the hopes of a day gone by;
Dream of a lovely face,        5
  And the grace of a lovely head,
And the form that I clasped in a fond embrace—
  Let me dream for a while of the dead.
 
Dead! can it be I am here
  Whispering this to my heart?        10
Dead! and I have not one welcome tear
  To soften the inward smart!
Dead! and I cannot pray,
  For I think of my love that is gone,
And the hope that was withered in one short day        15
  Has blasted my heart to stone.
 
What have I left but to dream
  Of my love that is laid in her rest,
To live as I live, for my life’s years seem
  But an empty dream at the best!        20
Everything round is still
  And white as a new-made shroud,
From the snow-clad lea to the pines on the hill,
  And the fleecy veil of the cloud.
 
Here on the snow I lie        25
  Seeking a balm for care,
Looking up to the blank of the sky,
  And the blue of the fathomless air.
Hark! how the chill winds wail,
  And shiver and moan in their flight;        30
What a depth of woe in the sorrowful tale
  They tell in the ear of the night!
 
What is it that makes them sad?
  Do they miss the grace of the flowers,
And sigh for the time when their breath was glad        35
  With the sweets of the summer hours?
Ye do well, chill winds, to rave,
  For the day of your brides has fled,
The earth lies heavy and cold on their grave,
  They are dead—and she too is dead!        40
 
 
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