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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Thomas Lovell Beddoes 1803–49



IF there were dreams to sell,

EM>What would you buy?

Some cost a passing bell;

Some a light sigh,

That shakes from Life’s fresh crown

Only a rose-leaf down.

If there were dreams to sell,

Merry and sad to tell,

And the crier rung the bell,

What would you buy?

A cottage lone and still,

With bowers nigh,

Shadowy, my woes to still,

Until I die.

Such pearl from Life’s fresh crown

Fain would I shake me down.

Were dreams to have at will,

This would best heal my ill,

This would I buy.

But there were dreams to sell

Ill didst thou buy;

Life is a dream, they tell,

Waking, to die.

Dreaming a dream to prize,

Is wishing ghosts to rise;

And, if I had the spell

To call the buried well,

Which one would I?

If there are ghosts to raise,

What shall I call

Out of hell’s murky haze,

Heaven’s blue pall?

Raise my lov’d long-lost boy

To lead me to his joy.

There are no ghosts to raise;

Out of death lead no ways;

Vain is the call.

Know’st thou not ghosts to sue?

No love thou hast.

Else lie, as I will do,

And breathe thy last.

So out of Life’s fresh crown

Fall like a rose-leaf down.

Thus are the ghosts to woo;

Thus are all dreams made true,

Ever to last!