Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
823. The Harlequin of Dreams
 
By Sidney Lanier
 
 
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 lids—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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