A Dream within a Dream

Original Text: 
The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe, ed. R. W. Griswold (New York: J. S. Redfield, 1850), II, 40.
2And, in parting from you now,
3Thus much let me avow--
4You are not wrong, who deem
5That my days have been a dream;
6Yet if hope has flown away
7In a night, or in a day,
8In a vision, or in none,
9Is it therefore the less gone?
10All that we see or seem
11Is but a dream within a dream.
12I stand amid the roar
13Of a surf-tormented shore,
14And I hold within my hand
15Grains of the golden sand--
16How few! yet how they creep
17Through my fingers to the deep,
18While I weep--while I weep!
19O God! can I not grasp
20Them with a tighter clasp?
21O God! can I not save
22One from the pitiless wave?
23Is all that we see or seem
24But a dream within a dream?


1] Thomas Ollive Mabbott finds Poe's title "in Graham's for October 1848, as the title of a sentimental story by C. A. Washburn which ends, `It was but a dream within a dream'" (Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe [Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969]: I, 451). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
(but a rewriting of "Should my early life seem" [1829])
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2.0.