Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
The Harlequin of Dreams
By Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)
SWIFT, through some trap mine eyes have never found,
  Dim-panelled in the painted scene of Sleep,
  Thou, giant Harlequin of Dreams, dost leap
Upon my spirit’s stage. Then Sight and Sound,
Then Space and Time, then Language, Mete and Bound,        5
  And all familiar Forms that firmly keep
  Man’s reason in the road, change faces, peep
Betwixt the legs and mock the daily round.
Yet thou canst more than mock: sometimes my tears
  At midnight break through bounden lips—a sign        10
  Thou hast a heart: and oft thy little leaven
Of dream-taught wisdom works me bettered years.
  In one night witch, saint, trickster, fool divine,
  I think thou ’rt Jester at the Court of Heaven!

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