The Shepherd Of Dreams

Wherefore come the mists in the vale
but as clouds hung low and heavy
with flights of fantasy to tell
which brim, but not break, the levee?
Such mists might come stampeding wild
lest the shepherd guide them with calm,
ram and lamb and ewe all made mild
with blessings from his phantom palm.
He shepherds half-glimpsed, as a ghost,
amidst the moisture of the morn,
a patient specter on the coast—
who is to say he is forlorn?
Mists and dreams manifest his flock,
fading, half-forgotten at light,
floating far from the lonely loch,
their fleece foggy…drifting…cool…white.
Do not rouse at the passing flock
or the flock is quickly dispelled,
and do not blink at the reed stalk
by the shepherd’s easy hand held—
it is the bane of goblin kin
who covet the flock for their own,
eating dreams of sleeping children
as they toss and turn, weep and moan.
Thus, the shepherd tends his flock well,
though his eyelids may droop down low;
sentinel even when storms swell,
lightning strikes, and the strong winds blow.
Highlands, lowlands, valley and moor,
the flock wanders on hooves unheard,
guided gently from shore to shore,
quiet as his unspoken word.

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