The Cry of the Dreamer

Original Text: 
James Jeffrey Roche, Life of John Boyle O'Reilly ... Together with his Complete Poems and Speeches, edited by Mrs. John Boyle O'Reilly (New York: Cassell, 1891): 463-64. PS 2493 R6 Robarts Library
1I am tired of planning and toiling
2     In the crowded hives of men;
3Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
4     And spoiling and building again.
6     Where I dreamed my youth away;
7For a dreamer lives forever,
8     And a toiler dies in a day.
9I am sick of the showy seeming
10     Of a life that is half a lie;
11Of the faces lined with scheming
12     In the throng that hurries by.
13From the sleepless thoughts' endeavor,
14     I would go where the children play;
15For a dreamer lives forever,
16    And a thinker dies in a day.
17I can feel no pride, but pity
18     For the burdens the rich endure;
19There is nothing sweet in the city
20     But the patient lives of the poor.
21Oh, the little hands too skillful,
22     And the child-mind choked with weeds!
23The daughter's heart grown willful,
24     And the father's heart that bleeds!
25No, no! from the street's rude bustle,
26     From the trophies of mart and stage,
27I would fly to the woods' low rustle
29Let me dream as of old by the river,
30     And be loved for the dream alway;
31For a dreamer lives forever,
32     And a toiler dies in a day.


5] river: the Boyne, on whose south bank stands Dowth Castle, Drogheda, where O'Reilly was born. Back to Line
28] meadow: Boyne Meadow, between the Boyne and Dowth paging, calling. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Life, p. 291.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: