Maurice Thompson

A Dream Of Romance

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The day is but a breezy dream,
The sky is like a bloom;
Life flows, a fragrant, bubbling stream,
Along a lilied flume.


The wandering butterfly is lost
In films of mystery,
From supple flower to flower is tossed
The worried bumblebee.


On high some idle spirit sings,
Half sleeping, as it flies,
Dropping from its charm√ęd wings
The dews of Paradise.


The pines are dozing, and the sea
Is murmuring in its sleep;
All round the sky rim drowsily
Some shadowy wonders creep.


The mosses drop their curtains low,
The far ships settle down,
And tenderly the Gulf winds blow,
O'er Bay Saint Louis town.


And lo! am I a mote to dance
And shimmer here and there,
Where faded beams of old romance
Strike slantwise through the air.


A weltering sound, remote and vast,
Comes to my drowsy ear;
The Gulf waves rolling from the past
Suggest the buccaneer.


A corsair sloop, hull down, retires
With mysteries in her hold;
Her sails, against the wizard fires
Of morn, are torn and old.


The buccaneer! The buccaneer!
My boyhood dreams come true;
What wild uproar is this I hear
Across the waters blue?


"Welcome! my brawny, bearded one,
Salute!" the caverns boom,
And the merchantmen, far scattered, run
To give his ship sea room.


He answers with a growling throat;
Out leaps his rusty blade,
And one dull, echoing thunder-note
Bounds from the carronade.


Lo! all the world stands by to gaze
And lean and look askance,
What time the sturdy tars upraise
The banner of romance.


Merrily, merrily, sing the crew;
Dusky and grim are they,
Against the islands soft and blue
And the grizzly ocean spray.


What is her name? What is her name?
This ship so dark and strong.
Oh, she was christened Lady Fame,
And built by King o' Song.


And she was manned by frowzy men,
Bohemians eke, who love
To fight at odds, like one to ten,
And reck not where they rove.


And who is captain, tell us true,
Of this good Lady Fame?
Shouts every tar of all the crew:
"Will Shakespeare is his name!"


Oh, welcome, goodly ship, in haste
To bring us prize and cheer
From all the hoards that tempt the taste
Of lawless buccaneer!


Ay, we will build us crafts galore,
Like Shakespeare's they shall be,
And we will plunder every shore
And every ship at sea.


All round the deep, wave-tossed and blown,
Led by the Lady Fame,
Our fleet shall make the world its own,
Reckless of shame or blame.


The South, the North, the East, the West,
Our shout and rout shall hear;
Oh, who shall foil, or who arrest
The ruthless buccaneer?


'T was thus I dreamed, one balmy day,
When dim ships went, hull down,
Against the sky line far away,
Off Bay Saint Louis town.


There sapphire islands, held aloof
In films of dream and chance,
Between sea floor and blue sky roof,
Are steeped in wild romance.


So in this town I linger long,
And watch and wait--alack!
Never a breath of golden song
Can blow the old time back!


Oh, leave me thus, a mote to dance
And shimmer here and there,
Where faded beams of old romance
Strike slantwise through the air!

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Maurice Thompson