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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 saw thee on thy bridal day—
         When a burning blush came o’er thee,
     Though happiness around thee lay,
         The world all love before thee:

     And in thine eye a kindling light
         (Whatever it might be)
     Was all on Earth my aching sight
        Of Loveliness could see.

     That
poem
     In spring of youth it was my lot
     To haunt of the wide earth a spot
     The which I could not love the less—
     So lovely was the loneliness
     Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
     And the tall pines that tower’d around.

     But when the Night had thrown her pall
     Upon that
poem
     A dark unfathom’d tide
     Of interminable pride—
     A mystery, and a dream,
     Should my early life seem;
     I say that dream was fraught
     With a wild, and waking thought
     Of beings that have been,
     Which my spirit hath not seen,
     Had I let them pass me by,
     With a