“A small dream of the Golden World” is another of B.’s statements comparing the here world with that other world—after death, dreams, the spirit realm, even. We see him being a dad here, with two daughters, one whining from a nightmare. A common parental predicament is to settle down a nightmare-frightened child. But, is there that sense of love, peace, and all’s-well-with-the-world when Snookums finally drifts off to sleep? Actually, there’s this: “While I pursue my path of sorrow.” So much for domestic tranquility.
Sorrow was his chosen lot, and two young daughters apparently didn’t cause it to lift from his furrowed brow in delight. What comes instead is the pronouncement of a personality at war. “Bodies, bodies to be carried a mile & dropt” would be hard to pinpoint the exact reference for without some driven act of heroic scholarship, if there is a foundation for it at all, but for sure there are intimations yet again of both the relationship or non-relationship of body and spirit, along with an acknowledgement distantly that struggle against a bitter enemy—warfare—comes down to putting holes in the enemy’s body or otherwise violently interfering with its normal functioning so that it stops working, which has the added benefit as well of stopping all the rest of the personality attached to it, all the insults, hatreds and desires that emanated from it.
Of course, poets don’t generally shoot their critics, no matter how bitterly they may hate them. An even more effective weapon is laughter. In the hereafter, from the frozen slush of his soul (a pretty good image, that), may his bitter enemies be doomed to salvoes of laughter, which is to say mockery and derision. Maybe that the stuff of a critic’s worst nightmare.
This is all dream-gas, imaginative wishery, putting him in league with his little girl’s dreams and night-terrors. He has much in common with her after all.