Idle Dreams

He came to her in the darkness

And he laid his head on her breast

‘I dreamed’ he said, ‘of the strangest things

Of stars and waters and mysteries,

And by all the pagan gods of dreams

I know I have dreamt it before.’

Then something was stirred within her

And she looked to the golden west

‘Somewhere lost in the distant past

Lost in the silence, dark and vast –

But it was dream,’ he said at last

‘A dream and nothing more.’

Her lips smiled upon him

But her eyes shone with wrath

‘I dreamed,’ she said, ‘of an iron sword

Of a golden banner and a battle horn

And by all the pagan gods of war

I have dreamt it many a time before.’

He held her white hand and kissed it,

But her face was stained with tears

‘Some day we will rise again-

And the world will be a world of men

But that is a dream that has never been

A dream and nothing more.’

‘Then kiss me again,’ he told her

For I am going to war

And I will see you never more

For I have a dream worth fighting for

And by all the gods of dreams and war

It is dream I have dreamt before.

‘And maybe the dream is come to an end

And the world will perish in fire

But,’ she said, and her voice was cold

‘It was a dream worth fighting for

And by the God of dreams and war

It was the dream of my sole desire

He fell for a golden banner

Beneath many an iron sword

But they found her alone in her chamber barred

And she clasped in her hands the bloodstained shards

Of a blade that bore three silver stars

Stars from a dream – and nothing more.

By Shannon Lise