Listen, friend, and I will tell you
Why I sometimes seem so glad,
Then, without a reason changing,
Soon become so grave and sad.
Half my life I live a beggar,
Ragged, helpless, and alone;
But the other half a monarch,
With my courtiers round my throne.
Half my life is full of sorrow,
Half of joy, still fresh and new;
One of these lives is a fancy,
But the other one is true.
While I live and feast on gladness,
Still I feel the thought remain,
This must soon end,–nearer, nearer
Comes the life of grief and pain.
While I live a wretched beggar,
One bright hope my lot can cheer;
Soon, soon, thou shalt have thy kingdom,
Brighter hours are drawing near.
So you see my life is twofold,
Half a pleasure, half a grief;
Thus all joy is somewhat tempered,
And all sorrow finds relief.
Which, you ask me, is the real life,
Which the Dream–the joy, or woe?
Hush, friend! it is little matter,
And, indeed–I never know.