I often ask myself whether ’tis better to dwell
In that mystical half-world of imagination,
Where dreams swirl and rise like a great swell
Of the sea, or to give oneself in resignation
To a cold, harsh reality.
For I close my eyes and see a jaunty figure,
Laughing in delight in a mystical garden.
Where nymphs and fairies flit about, and men no bigger
Than thimbles scurry, shrieking, “Pardon
Me, sir, I am in a hurry!”
Lush, enchanted forests echo with the sounds
Of desperate lovers proclaiming vows
And shepards reposing on great mounds
Of earth eye their ample-girthed sows
As they amble beside them.
And overhead fly great creatures,
Dragons, maybe, with thick brown scales,
While old men with thick beards and ragged features,
Squat by a blazing fire, whispering tales
Of knights and friars.
Black plumes of smoke rise in the distance.
While vast armies of fantastic creatures sharpen
Their blades, their captains shouting with persistence
To always be brave, and true, and to hearken
The call of Hades, should they fall.
And there is a desert, too, cold and dry,
Where dying camels stumble; they are disgraces
To their charges who trudge beside them and squint and cry
And pull their shawls tightly around their faces
And they, too, will fall.
And our figure looks upon all this,
Over this dream landscape, curiously
Pinching himself as if something was amiss,
For you see, the figure is me,
And I must return to my reality.