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if there were dreams to sell,
what would you buy?
some cost a passing bell,
some a light sigh,
that shakes from life’s fresh crown
only a rose-leaf down.
if there were dreams to sell,
merry and sad to tell,
and the crier rung the bell,
what would you buy?

a cottage lone and still,
with bowers nigh,
shadowy, my woes to still,
until i die.
such a pearl from life’s fresh crown
tain would i shake me down.
were dreams to have a will,
this would best hear my ill,
this would i buy.

but there were dreams to sell
in didst thou buy;
life is a dream, they tell,
waking to die.
dreaming a dream to prize,
in wishing ghosts to rise,
and, if i had the spell
to call the buried well
which one would i?

if there are ghosts to raise,
what shall i call,
out of hell’s murky haze,
heaven’s blue pall?
raise my loved long-lost boy
to lead me to his joy. –
there are no ghosts to raise;
out of death lead no ways;
vain is the call.

knowst thou not ghosts to sue?
no love thou hast.
else lie, as i will do,
and breathe thy last.
so out of life’s fresh crown
fall like a rose-leaf down.
thus are the ghosts to woo;
thus are all dreams true,
ever to last!