a dream

by Elizabeth Clementine Kinney

Image: Denise Ippolito
Image: Denise Ippolito

‘Twas summer, and the spot a cool retreat–
Where curious eyes came not, nor footstep rude
Disturbed the lovers’ chosen solitude:
Beneath an oak there was a mossy seat,
Where we reclined, while birds above us wooed
Their mates in songs voluptuously sweet.
A limpid brook went murmuring by our feet,
And all conspired to urge the tender mood.
Methought I touched the streamlet with a flower,
When from its bosom sprang a fountain clear,
Falling again in the translucent shower,
Which made more green each blade of grass appear:
“This stream’s thy heart,” I said; “Love’s touch alone
Can change it to the fount which maketh green my own.”

Part of a circle of expatriate artists and writers that included fellow poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Kinney penned verses and essays from Italy for the Newark Daily Advertiser, of which her husband was the founding publisher. She returned to Newark after the Civil War.

“A Dream” is from the volume Poems, published in 1867.

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