Sleeping and Dreaming

(1899)

"Sleeping and Dreaming" is the third song of Ethelbert Nevin's song cycle Songs from Vineacre, Op. 28.

Sleeping and Dreaming
by Robert P. Nevin


'Tis not the mere charm of the hour's gentle lending,
That leads me to stray by the streamside at even;
The sun's paly beam with the pale shadows blending,
The blue of the wave mocking that of the heaven;
'Twas here long ago that our joys found their keeping,
And here that when weary she slept on my knee,
Oh! I knew that my Mary was dreaming while sleeping,
Under the shade of the old willow tree,
Was dreaming while sleeping,
Was dreaming of me.


As fleeteth a glance fled the hours, swiftly darting,
Till fate bade us sever and reft me away.
I sought the streamside scene of gladness, ere parting,
And there softly pillowed my love slumb'ring lay;
A warm dewy moisture her veiled eyes was steeping,
Her lips moved, low whispers fell murmuringly,
And I knew that my Mary was dreaming while sleeping,
Under the shade of the old willow tree,
Was dreaming while sleeping,
Was dreaming of me.


My wanderings o'er, to the dear spot repairing,
I sought for my love in our hallowed retreat;
The bank was still there, the old moss-carpet wearing,
But a furrow was scooped in its breast at my feet.
Alas! How the tears flowed apace of my weeping!
She lay where she lay, but 'twas not on my knee,
And my Mary no longer was dreaming, while sleeping,
Under the shade of the old willow tree,
Not dreaming while sleeping, not dreaming of me.


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