How sweet it is to dream and let
The turbulence of life go by,
An islet in a river set,
Watching the scudding clouded sky.
Fern fronds trailing fingers wet
Reach out to touch a floating spar
Incuriously, for such things are.
How sweet, with reason left behind,
To feel the wind in grassy hair,
Not wondering, with placid mind,
What presages the quickening air,
And makes its whisper sound unkind,
Or why the sky, from blue to grey,
Veils its face and dims the day.
Not noticing the birds grow still
And little life a listening stand,
Or how the ducks with anxious bill
Their feathers fluff and make for land.
And black-browed clouds are boding ill.
Ignoring all the warning tones
Of murmuring currents in the stones.
Unmindful of the sullen roar
Of the dark waters upstream.
No hint of unkind fate in store
Disturbs this islands idle dream.
While water walls, like Severn Bore,
In angry flood, engulfing all
Upon the sleeping island fall
Brief Nightmare, as in anguished fight
My little isle seeks to withstand
The raging torrent. Seen from sight,
But for a branch, like clutching hand
Above the foam, it fades in watery night.
But Oh how sweet it were to dream
Unheedful of the cruel stream!
Copyright H. St. Vincent Beechey August 1954