“Dreams” -By Robert Herrick

Here we are all, by day; by night we’re hurl’d
By dreams, each one into a several world.

The two-line poem of the epigrammatic Herrick is my favorite along with his other poem of “Gather Ye Rosebuds” fame.A song from our less mature years, a music that brings a smile upon your lips in the autumn years.

…here we are all, by day

A world we are together in, racing against each other in the fat survival game till dusk. By day we earn our bread by the sweat of our brow and then after nightfall, we are ,each of us ,hurled into a several world of our dreams. Here we live our separate lives living out our own flimsy existences apart from the others in the game.

The keywords are “several” and “hurled”

“Several” here means as in “joint and several” of legal terminology ,where several means “distinct”, “unique”,apart from others”. By day we are living out a joint existence in this workaday world but our dreams are our own world , our own several worlds , distinct from our joint existences by the day.

“Hurled” is a significant use implying a violent throw into a world not of our making.We have no control over our dreams, as to the dreams we conjure up in the small hours of our sleep. Additionally,”hurled” has a Biblical connotation where God ‘s anger hurls a fallen angel into the abyss of hell’s inferno.Dreams can be nightmares and when they are, they are equivalent to hell.