God's Lily

By George Sterling

A dream within a dream: it seemed I slept
    Beneath the shadows of a moon-washed glade,
    With lilies in my arms benignly laid—
Found in a valley where the dusk had wept;
Star-pale was each, from out whose calice crept
    A fragrance that was soul of slumber's shade
    And spirit of its silence, as it made
My breast a harp that dreamland fingers swept.

And then I dreamt I woke, but mine embrace
    No longer knew the holy lilies' gleam,
For whiter, purer, thou hadst found their place,
        And sweeter on my lips thy loving breath!
    O crowning, O unutterable dream!
        Return it, Heaven! altho' the cost be death!


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