By the Stream

Paul Laurence Dunbar – 1872-1906

 

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass,

How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass,

And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads,

Like a host of armored knights with silver helmets on their heads.

And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human life may go,

For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet but shallows show,

And a soul may glow with myriad lights and wondrous mysteries,

When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors what it sees.