Of a Ladye Mine, and of the Dream She Had



'Twas at Torquay in Devon, land of stream and cream, 'o scaur and tor, o' moor gorse-golden, merry maids and proper men, tall fellows and bold, o' dells and coombes, and of cider stronger and sweeter than your Norman can make for all his cunning; and this girl was a play-actress, rosy as the apples, and white as the cream, and soft as the air, and high-spirited as the folk, of that enchanted dukedom. I know her name was langourous and lovely; but only the devil her master knows what it was; I shall probably remember it if I live to be eighty; but whether it's worth while to go through another forty years or so of European war in order to recall this detail is a matter rather for my readers than myself. The deuce take politics!

Whatever her name was, she was out walking. She was as pretty as a picture of Spring, for 'twas that which had got into her blood – the good Sun grant it gets into mine this night, and stays there! So she was restless, so she walked up and down by the Sea, feeling the Sea's mood hers. I think she walked till moonset, but I'm not writing by the calendar, thank the Lord! We call it moonset; we declare moonset trumps. Good. Then she wandered on the face of the cliff for a while, and sought to tire her limbs. At last she came to a meadow; and there she called upon the Earth, lying upon the cool grass, and plucking out great handfuls. The daisies stared at her with great golden eyes, like Balzac's 'Fille'. And so she dreamed that she was Earth itself, and a daughter of Earth, Titan, a giantess in the prime o' the planet. She lay like a great range of mountains athwart the plains, snow domes upon green alps. May the Lady of Dreams be ever near us, awake or asleep, with her hands full of loveliness. Carry your apron full, Our Lady, with cherry dreams, peach dreams, plum dreams, pear dreams, strawberry dreams, apple dreams, dreams that are clusters of the heaviest grapes! And fly also South and East upon occasion for we need tropical dreams, like mangoes, dates, pomegranates, lychees and mangostems!

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