Duncan Campbell Scott


Canada   1935

Genre de texte

Le poème est présenté au complet.

Texte original

Texte témoin
“Reality” The Green Cloister Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1935, p. 9-11.


At the Inn by the flowing road,
Where the shadow merges with the sun,
There is lodging for everyone,
And plenty of food in store, –
Bread with a flavour of mould,
Wine that is cloudy and rough.
No one asks for gold;
But the service is brisk enough
For the folk that frequent the Inn.
The courtyard rings and rattles
With the chaffering and the din;
For all the guests are merchants
Who all have dreams to sell;
Nothing but dreams they proffer, –
“Dreams, – fine dreams!” they cry.
But you have your dreams to offer,
So why should you buy
Inferior dreams. Your own
Are lovely beyond compare;
You unfold their tremulous tissues
And free them to float in the air,
But nobody seems to care.

And as time grows slow,
Like the ivy along the wall
Of the Inn, you fancy you know
That the only things that are real
In all the moving show
Are the wine and the bread.
So the taste comes to be loathy,
And you loathe the streams
Of simple, importunate merchants
Hawking the dreams
That no one will buy.
Hope goes out with a sigh,
For nobody heeds the beauty
You spread in the sun;
And you fold the dream-tissues
When the day is done .
Then though you make no sign,
They bring you the bread and the wine.
Yea, the service is quick to please;
You may sit at your ease,
Even beyond the even,
Watching the small grey stars
Drift in the shallow heaven;
You may linger till Time is dead,
With those delicate dreams of thine,
Eating the bitter bread,
And drinking the harsh wine!

But when night deepens in flood
Floating the greater stars,
When silence falls, and the blood
Slows in the aching heart,
All sudden you are aware
Of a mystical light in the air;
For the unsold dreams, transfigured,
Have peopled the void
With a flutter of angels;
Over each wondering merchant
Glimmers an angel guest;
You have your angel of angels,
Whose radiance surpasses the rest;
Your hands are your angel’s hands,
His soul is your soul,
and you know
That the only things that were real
In all that moving show
Were the dreams.

Then though you make no sign,
They bring you viands divine; –
You may linger till Time is dead
With those realized dreams of thine,
Eating the honeyed bread,
And drinking the rich wine.

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