AG: So, “A Dream”, next, page sixteen. I always thought this one particularly as a piece of the bodhisattva notion, or the prophetic faculty of the poet or the bodhisattva notion of the wakened mind; that is that you take care of the others first: I put a chorus on this, just for fun. It was “Om Ah Hum” – H-U-M in Buddhist terminology is the heart mantra. The heart area. “Om” for the body. “Ah” is speech. So there’s a triadic “Om Ah Hum” corresponding to the same heaven/ earth/man, in a way, ((in) a slightly different order). But this ends with “Om Ah Hum” – “Oh Ma Home” – So I thought that would make a good Bavarian beer-hall chorus!
[Allen begins singing “A Dream”, accompanying himself on harmonium, with Peter Orlovsky on harmony] – “Once a dream did weave a shade,/O’er my Angel-guarded bed,/An emmet is an ant./That an Emmet lost it’s way/Where on grass methought I lay./Troubled wilderd and folorn/Dark benighted travel-worn,/Over many a tangled spray/All heart-broke I heard her say./O my children! do they cry/ Do they hear their father sigh./Now they look abroad to see,Now return and weep for me. Pitying I drop’d a tear:/But I saw a glow-worm near:/ Who replied. What wailing wight/ Calls the watchman of the night/ I am set to light the ground,/ While the beetle goes his round:/Follow now the beetles hum,/Little wanderer hie thee home/ I am set to light the ground,/While the beetle goes his round:/Follow now the beetles hum,/Little wanderer hie thee home./Om Ma Hum/ (Om Ma Hum – Allen sings and continues with this refrain)
So what is that? A dream “weaves a shade” around his bed, which is guarded by angels – that a little ant (an”Emmet”) lost its way. And the ant is calling for its child – it’s lost – and then Blake, the observer, in his dream, in nature, sees a glow-worm, (a) part of nature, that is he sees another element – a natural lamp – coming to question what’s the problem, and sees the glow-worm as a “watchman of the night”, and explains that the glow-worm is “set to light the ground/ While the beetle goes his round”, and so the ant can “follow the beetle’s hum”. The ant can follow the sound of the beetle’s hum. “Beetle’s hum” I guess in the light of the glow-worm. It’s a dream, certainly. I must have been a real dream, actually. It may well have been a real dream. Such an odd arrangement. I don’t know what metaphysically you can make of it. It’s just an innocent (song) It’s certainly a song of innocence; that everything is arranged properly so that the boddhisattva glow-worm does actually take care of the lost ant and lead him home. To the home via the hum.