A Dream within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

— EAP, 1849

A Dream within a Dream

Accept this promise from my heart!
Your soul from mine shall never part
Exploring, venturing from the chart –
Seeking, chasing Atman’s beam
Knowing it is but a dream;
Beyond imagination’s scope
A future humbling faith and hope
Relinquish visions, open wide
To possibilities untried.
All that we may know or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand astride the ocean’s roar
Caress its wide, luxuriant shore
And I hold within my hand
A single grain of golden sand –
Ephemeral symbol of the small
Fairy dust, a crystal ball
And microcosm of the All.
In awe! as I release my grasp
And find my hands in prayerful clasp
In awe! And full surrender, brave
I join the overarching wave,
Thinking: all we know or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

— JJM, 2010