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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Ebb and Flow

By George William Curtis (1824–1892)

I WALKED beside the evening sea,

And dreamed a dream that could not be;

The waves that plunged along the shore

Said only—“Dreamer, dream no more!”

But still the legions charged the beach;

Loud rang their battle-cry, like speech;

But changed was the imperial strain:

It murmured—“Dreamer, dream again!”

I homeward turned from out the gloom,—

That sound I heard not in my room;

But suddenly a sound, that stirred

Within my very breast, I heard.

It was my heart, that like a sea

Within my breast beat ceaselessly:

But like the waves along the shore,

It said—“Dream on!” and “Dream no more!”