“Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1844-81)
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
A British poet of Irish descent, O’Shaughnessy earned his living as an herpetologist at the British Museum. His real love, however, was not the frogs and snakes but literature, especially poetry.
For me, this poem is special because it reminds me of the importance of beginning new dreams. Instead of focusing on the past—its successes and failures– and the passage of time and generations, I like to think of the dream that is being conceived. (And, Yes! My dream is coming true! #lateantiquitystudiesBudapest2014)
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
Sadly, O’Shaughnessy died of a “Chill” at the age of 36. He is buried at Kensai Green Cemetery in London. For the full poem and a bit of fairy dust, visit http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/242554