Beautiful Dreamer

Beautiful Dreamer

by Stephen Collins Foster

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,
Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea,
Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelei;
Over the streamlet vapors are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E’en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Literary Analysis

The theme of this poem is love, interwoven with the themes of beauty, creativity, and tranquility. The poet addresses a beautiful dreamer—perhaps she is his love—as a source of inspiration for him for writing poetry. The poet speaks to his “beautiful dreamer” to call her attention to different beauties of nature, saying that she is the true inspiration for his songs. He creates a dream world in which the melodious songs are being sung in the presence of enchanting scenes of the sea, starlight, clouds, mermaids, and dewdrops, but the real inspiration behind all this is the presence of the beautiful dreamer. Even the title “Beautiful Dreamer” represents a beautiful woman, who the poet wants to take into his lovely and charming world.

He begins the poem by inviting his dream queen to come into his fanciful world by saying, Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee.” He tells her that the bitter realities of the day are over. Using a beautiful metaphor, the poet entices her, saying he would take her where she would be “Lull’d by the moonlight,” where calmness would rule the world. Then his longing becomes more intense, and he calls the woman the “queen of my song.” He tries to persuadeher to comewhile I woo thee with soft melody.

As the preoccupations of the busy schedule of daytime are over, the poet moves to the third stanza, and addresses the woman to come on the seashore where Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelei.”Finally, he requests the beautiful dreamer to come into his dreams and make love, so that he could write lovely romantic songs. The poet once again employs the metaphor “beam on my heart,” with which he intends to fill his heart with love and emotions. Finally, he states that in this way all his tensions and sorrows vanish. In fact, the beautiful dreamer is an inspiration that the poet needs to write beautiful poems and songs. She is similar to the muses of the ancient Greek times.

Structural Analysis

Beautiful Dreamer” is one of the most popular love poems by Stephen Foster. This romantic lyric has four stanzas. The rhyme scheme is regular, although it varies in all stanzas, yet maintains the same rhythm throughout the poem. The rhyme scheme in the first and the third stanzas is AABB, as shown here:

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me, A
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee; A
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day, B
Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away!  B

Meanwhile, the rhyme scheme in the second and fourth stanzas is ABAB, as shown here:

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song, A
List while I woo thee with soft melody; B
Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng, A
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me! B

The metrical pattern also changes from line to line, though most of the lines are written in iambic pentameter with alternating trochaic pentameter such as “Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me, / Starlight and dewdropsare waitingfor thee.”

The poet is adept in the use of many different poetic devices. He has used onomatopoeia in the final line of the first stanza, when the poet says, “Lull’d.” Anaphora runs through theentire poem such as,Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!”The diction of the poem is connotative, presenting images and metaphors succinctly. It has also some archaic words such as “unto” and “thee,” which enhance the beauty of the language. Enjambment comes in the third line of each stanza such as “Sounds of the rude world heard in the day / Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away!” Internal rhyme is found only once in the second stanza “List while I woo thee with soft melody.”

Guidance for Usage of Quotes

“Beautiful Dreamer” is a poem about love and creativity. A beautiful woman inspires the poet to write beautiful ballads and songs. These circumstances and settings are highly alluring for young lovers. They can relate with this poem, and use quotes to send to their beloveds on special days to demonstrate the importance of their beloveds, such as these lines:

“Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E’en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!”

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