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Queen Oriana's Dream

On a bank with roses shaded,
Whose sweet scent the violets aided,
Violets whose breath alone
Yields but feeble smell or none
(Sweeter bed Jove ne'er reposed on
When his eyes Olympus closed on),
While o'erhead six slaves did hold
Canopy of cloth o'gold,
And two more did music keep,
Which might Juno lull to sleep,
Oriana, who was queen
To the mighty Tamerlane,
That was lord of all the land
Between Thrace and Samarchand,
While the nontide fervour beam'd,
Mused herself to sleep, and dream'd.

Thus far, in magnific strain,
A young poet soothed his vein,
But he had nor prose nor numbers
To express a princess's slumbers.--
Youthful Richard had strange fancies,
Was deep versed in old romances,
And could talk whole hours upon
The Great Cham and Prester John,--
Tell the field in which the Sophi
From the Tartar won a trophy--
What he read with such delight of,
Thought he could as eas'ly write of--
But his over-young invention
Kept not pace with brave intention
twenty suns did rise and set,
And he could no further get;
But, unable to proceed,
Mad a virtue out of need,
And, his labours wiselier deem'd of,
Did omit what the queen dream'd of.

Charles Lamb