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George Augustus Baker Jr 1849 ( New York City, New York) – 1906 ( New York City, New York)
Oh, just burning up some old papers,
They do make a good deal of smoke:
That's right, Dolly, open the window;
They'll blaze if you give them a poke.
I've got a lot more in the closet;
Just look at the dust! What a mess!
Why, read it, of course, if you want to,
It's only a letter, I guess.
Just me, and my pipe, and the fire-light,
Whose mystical circles of red
Protect me alone with the shadows;
The smoke-wreaths engarland my head;
And the strains of a waltz, half forgotten,
The favorite waltz of the year,
Played softly by fairy musicians,
Chime sweetly and low on my ear.
The smoke-cloud floats thickly around me,
All perfumed and white, till it seems
A bride-veil magicians have woven
To honor the bride of my dreams.
Float on, dreamy waltz, through my fancies,
My thoughts in your harmony twine!
Draw near, phantom face, in your beauty,
Look deep, phantom eyes, into mine.
Sweet lips crimson buds half unfolded
Give breath to the exquisite voice,
That, waking the strands of my being
To melody, bids me rejoice.
Dream, soul, till the world's dream is ended!
Dream, heart, of your beautiful past!
For dreaming is better than weeping,
And all things but dreams at the last.
Change rules in the world of the waking
Its laughter aye ends in a sigh;
Dreams only are changeless immortal:
A love-dream alone cannot die.
Toil, fools! Sow your hopes in the furrows,
Rich harvest of failure you'll reap;
Life's riddle is read the most truly
By men who but talk in their sleep.
There, stop! That'll do yes, I own it
But, dear, I was young then, you know.
I wrote that before we were married;
Let's see why, it's ten years ago!
You remember that night, at Drake's party,
When you flirted with Dick all the time?
I left in a state quite pathetic,
And went home to scribble that rhyme.
What a boy I was then with my dreaming,
And reading the riddle of life!
You gave a good guess at its meaning
The night you said "Yes," little wife.
One kiss for old times' sake, my Dolly
That didn't seem much like a dream.
Holloa! something's wrong with the children!
Those young ones do nothing but scream.
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