Put Your Trust in Dreams

Within the linden’s bloom the streetlight winks.
A dark and honeyed hush envelops us.
Across the curb one’s passing shadow slinks:
across a stump a sable ripples thus.
The night sky melts to peach beyond that gate.
There water gleams, there Venice vaguely shows.
Look at that street – it runs to China straight,
and yonder star above the Volga glows!
Oh, swear to me to put in dreams your trust,
and to believe in fantasy alone,
and never let your soul in prison rust,
nor stretch your arm and say: a wall of stone.

Vladimir Nabokov
The Gift (1937)

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