new zealand electronic poetry centre

Lola Ridge

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The Dream Man

Oh, what does the Dream-Man mean,
      And why does he wave his wand?
Afar where the tussocks lean
He walks on the plain unseen,
      And calls to the night beyond.

The moon is beringed and pale –
      With only the Dream-Man’s eyes
To guide o’er the slender trail!
And what if their light should fail,
      Away where the shadows rise?

He plays on a wondrous reed,
      And deep are the spells he weaves;
In vain may ye kneel and plead –
Who follows the Dream-Man’s lead,
      And fall by the way he leaves.

He tarries his steps for none,
      But the gleam of his sombre eyes –
Oh, dearly their glance is won ! –
Is more than the stars and the sun,
      And all the light o’ the skies.

Aloud from the distant sea
      And low from a far-off range,
He calls to the soul of me,
And plays in an unknown key
      A song in rhythm strange.


‘The Dream Man,’ Ainslee's Apr 1909: 120.
See also NZ Illustrated Magazine 1903; Verses 1905: 38-39.

Last updated 30 May, 2013