The Sick Man's Dream

Dans le solitaire bourgade,

Revant a ses maux tristement,

Languissait un pauvre malade,

D'un long mal qui va consumant.--MILLEVOYE.

It was a dream, a pleasant dream, that o'er my spirit came,

When faint beneath the lime-trees' shade I flung my weary frame:

I stood upon a mountain's brow, above the haunts of men,

And, far beneath me, smiling, lay my lovely native glen.

I watch'd the silv'ry Severn glide, reflecting rock and tree,

A gentle pilgrim, bound to pay her homage to the sea;

And waking many a treasured thought, that slumb'ring long had lain:

Some mountain minstrel's harp poured forth a well remember'd strain.

I rais'd my voice in thankfulness, and vowed no more to roam,

Or leave my heart's abiding-place, my beauteous mountain home.

Alas! how different was the scene that met my waking glance!

It fell upon the fertile plains, the sunny hills of France.

The Garonne's fair and glassy wave rolls onward in its pride;

It cannot quench my burning thirst for thee, my native tide;

And, for the harp that bless'd my dream with mem'ries from afar,

I only hear yon peasant maid, who strikes the light guitar:

The merry stranger mocks at griefs he does not understand,

He cannot--he has never seen my own fair mountain land.

They said Consumption's ruthless eye had mark'd me for her prey:

They bade me seek in foreign climes her wasting hand to stay;

They told me of an altered form, an eye grown ghastly bright,

And called the crimson on my cheek the spoiler's hectic blight.

Oh! if the mountain heather pined amidst the heaven's own dew,

Think ye the parterre's wasting heat its freshness could renew?

And thus, 'mid shady glens and streams, was my young life begun,

And now, my frame exhausted sinks beneath this southern sun.

I feel, I feel, they told me true; my breath grows faint and weak,

And, brighter still, this crimson spot is glowing on my cheek;

My hour of life is well nigh past, too fleetly runs the sand:

Oh! must I die so far from thee, my dear lov'd mountain land?