W.B. Yeats’ Towards Break of Day

Was it the double of my dream
The woman that by me lay
Dreamed, or did we halve a dream
Under the first cold gleam of day?

I thought: ‘There is a waterfall
Upon Ben Bulben side
That all my childhood counted dear;
Were I to travel far and wide
I could not find a thing so dear.’
My memories had magnified
So many times childish delight.

I would have touched it like a child
But knew my finger could but have touched
Cold stone and water. I grew wild.
Even accusing Heaven because
It had set down among its laws:
Nothing that we love over-much
Is ponderable to our touch.

I dreamed towards break of day,
The cold blown spray in my nostril.
But she that beside me lay
Had watched in bitterer sleep
The marvellous stag of Arthur,
That lofty white stag, leap
From mountain steep to steep.

Yeats, W.B. (1921). Towards break of day. In: Michael Robartes and the Dancer.

[Blogger’s Note: The idea of a shared dream has drawn many a – well, dreamer -into the realm of fantasy. At the Water’s Edge is no exception to this mystical wonderment, taking its cue from Yeats’ imaginations. And, just like Yeats, the characters find themselves waffling with such a possibility, knowing that the world in which they live doesn’t allow this kind of boundary to be breached. Yet, they also can’t deny the reality of the emotions that come attached to such an experience. What to do with them is another matter, altogether, as life is never as simple and beautiful as is the other worldliness of dreams.]

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