Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
Dream People
By Isabel Ecclestone Mackay (1875–1928)
WHERE dwell the dear dream people who fly at break of day?
Their laughter sinks to silence, their faces melt away—
The only voice that lingers is the voice which bids them stay!
We know they wait us somewhere, safe-harboured by the night;
They are as real as hand or brain, as vivid as the light,        5
As actual as is the sun whose coming speeds their flight.
They bring the breath of summer, the autumn moon, the sigh
That stirs the perfumed bushes as the night wind wanders by,
And all the sweet dead sights and sounds that never really die.
They come with tears and laughter; they never fail or fade—        10
Last night myself came dancing back a little red-cheeked maid,
With aproned frock and braided hair and clear eyes unafraid.
And often comes a merry lad, laughing, and tall and tanned,
And all the old delight sweeps back—his hand upon my hand,
With just we two alone in all the lovely, love-lit land!        15
Yet when we wake they leave us! I wonder where they stay.
And when we never wake at all shall we be just as they—
For ever free, for ever young, beyond the touch of day?

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