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About this Poem 

Representative of Poe's later work, "A Dream Within a Dream" is a revised version of a poem Poe originally composed in the 1820s. It is considered one of the poet's finest shorter poems. In an article published in 1849, Poe wrote, "It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream."

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep 
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Born in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe had a profound impact on American and international literature as an editor, poet, and critic.

by this poet

poem
                I

     Wreathed in myrtle, my sword I’ll conceal
     Like those champions devoted and brave,
     When they plunged in the tyrant their steel,
     And to Athens deliverance gave.

                II

     Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam
     In the joy breathing isles of the
poem
         Gaily bedight,
         A gallant knight,
     In sunshine and in shadow,
         Had journeyed long,
         Singing a song,
     In search of Eldorado.

         But he grew old—
         This knight so bold—
     And o’er his heart a shadow
         Fell, as he found
         No
poem
     In the greenest of our valleys
         By good angels tenanted,
     Once a fair and stately palace—
         Radiant palace—reared its head.
     In the monarch Thought’s dominion—
         It stood there!
     Never seraph spread a pinion
         Over fabric half so fair.