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 By the Stream
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By the Stream
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and
watch as in a glass,
How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and
white-robed maidens pass,
And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles
as it spreads,
Like a host of armored knights with silver
helmets on their heads.
And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human
life may go,
For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet
but shallows show,
And a soul may glow with myriad lights and
wondrous mysteries,
When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors
what it sees.