William Preston (1753-1807)

The Dream

Oh, fatal dream! what forms of dire dismay!
Frantic I range beneath the damps of night--
I sat, methought, where death and pale affright
On Clara frowned;--I saw the subtle ray
Of life recede;--the loved, the lovely lay
Convulsed with pain;--no more her eyes were bright,
Her soul, the gentle mansion of delight,
Was reft; the beauteous frame was turned to clay.

With piercing shrieks I tore the silent gloom
Of awful night; the cruel phantom fled.
Yet scarce will fear my waking senses trust;
Still, still, it paints thy beauties turned to dust.
O Clara, Clara, wert thou with the dead,
Thy lover soon would follow to the tomb.