Do you see them passing, do you hear the ringing of quiet bells?
Do you see their robes aflutter in a non-existent wind?
Do not seek to stop them, do not meet their eyes, bow your head and let them pass. They are the dreamers, the wanderers, they have no place in time or space. They will steal your heart and wound your soul, you will see visions in their gazing, and you will follow them.
Through eternity they will lead you, through heaven and hell, until you will know no rest in any place in any world of mortal men, and other folk will call you mad.
Just one look from their far-seeing eyes and you will be forever lost, forever restless in the cold light of enlightened day. No more content to stand and watch the homefire, no more to see the world the same.
I have known them, I have followed them, the pain and the joys of them. I am consumed in the fires of their vision, and I will never know peace again.
Watch now at their passing and I will name them. Name them so you know them, and know the fate you tempt.
There is Science, and there is Knowledge,
Bold Adventure and brave Fantasy;
There is Foresight, and Invention,
And the oldest mad Mythology.
But at their head their leader, their guide, their inspiration. Do not meet his gaze, for he is the most powerful of all. Do not seek his favours, do not ask his business, for his name is Imagination, and he will change you forever if you allow.
Go back to the gods of Ignorance, the safe world unchanged. Do not heed the Dreamers or listen to their bells.
Untouched you will be content forever.
There – hear your mother calling. The fire is warm beneath your supper, the pillow waiting for your head. No dreams will trouble you. You know how the flow of your life will lead you. From your cradle to your grave it is mapped out. It offers you no changes.
But do you see them passing ..?