Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: IV. Thought: Poetry: Books
Dream-Life
Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–1681)
 
From the Spanish by Edward Fitzgerald

From “Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made of”

AND yet—and yet—in these our ghostly lives,
Half night, half day, half sleeping, half awake,
How if our waking life, like that of sleep,
Be all a dream in that eternal life
To which we wake not till we sleep in death?        5
How if, I say, the senses we now trust
For date of sensible comparison,—
Ay, ev’n the Reason’s self that dates with them,
Should be in essence of intensity
Hereafter so transcended, and awoke        10
To a perceptive subtlety so keen
As to confess themselves befooled before,
In all that now they will avouch for most?
One man—like this—but only so much longer
As life is longer than a summer’s day,        15
Believed himself a king upon his throne,
And played at hazard with his fellows’ lives,
Who cheaply dreamed away their lives to him.
The sailor dreamed of tossing on the flood:
The soldier, of his laurels grown in blood:        20
The lover, of the beauty that he knew
Must yet dissolve to dusty residue:
The merchant and the miser of his bags
Of fingered gold; the beggar of his rags:
And all this stage of earth on which we seem        25
Such busy actors, and the parts we played
Substantial as the shadow of a shade,
And Dreaming but a dream within a dream!
 
 
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