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First of all, I doubt whether this is the proper place to ask my question since it might be quite basic, but I will try.

The sentence is:

You flee my dream come the morning.

I certainly understand the part ''You flee my dream''.

But the part ''come the morning'' is completely confusing and problematic for me.
Is that a reduced adverbial phrase?

I cannot combine the meanings of the two. Is it something like You flee my dream when the morning comes?

At first sight, the part come the morning seems to be an imperative clause, however, that would be awkward.

Hence, I suppose that it is an adverbial phrase, though I am not sure of anything.

The source of the text: https://sharmalade.bandcamp.com/track/the-wolven-storm-prescillas-song

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    Could you add a bit more of the poem? The whole verse, if it's not too long. – marcellothearcane Mar 3 '19 at 10:22
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    Could you add this link into the question: sharmalade.bandcamp.com/track/the-wolven-storm-prescillas-song, as a source for the text. – Lordology Mar 3 '19 at 10:30
  • I had to read the line twice to make sense of the last phrase, I'll explain why below. Expressions like "come /morning/sundown/Tuesday" and so on are part of my dialect (western Canadian) and the simplest explanation I can think of is "come ..." means "when ... comes". I've found it usually in speech/not writing and among people living in the interior of Canada and the US. I find the line odd for two reasons. I would expect "come morning" rather than "come the morning" and the line implies to me that the dream is still present after morning arrives. – Al Maki Mar 4 '19 at 16:41
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The phrase "come the morning" strikes my ear as not idiomatic, with the article. Come morning is the idiomatic phrase among those who use it.

Just make sure you don't overdo it or you'll wind up with damp clothes and a soggy sleeper come morning.

Compare "come spring".

And what does one do with all that mulch come spring?

All of the manure won't work down into the soil during the winter, which means he'll have a lot of manure removal to do come spring.

Come spring, it will help keep chill and wet from eggs and young until the weather is reliably warm. Press the weather strip into the ventilation holes before you seal the box; it won't stick to freshly sealed wood.

The pattern is fairly common and is not a "dated" locution limited to elderly speakers. Compare @1:10 these lyrics from Come Friday by Eliot Sumner (2016).

It sounds to me as if your poet is using a stylized phrase that is not normally in her working vocabulary, and is not getting it quite right.

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  • I can easily imagine a boss today saying, “Come Friday, that report better be in my hand.” – Jim Mar 4 '19 at 16:25
  • @Jim. Indeed. Good example. – TRomano Mar 4 '19 at 16:42
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You are right with your suggestion. Come the morning is just a phrase (not so much in common usage today) meaning 'when the morning comes'. The join 'come the' is followed by a noun then used as an adverbial phrase e.g. come the morning, x, y and z will happen.

So in your context, it means 'when the morning comes, you flee my dream'.

This is in regards to the second definition of 'come':

occur; happen; take place

From Oxford Dictionaries

You could think of it as 'happen the morning...'

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  • Thank you for your helpful answer. Is this structure common in daily speaking? I mean, is this a fancy literature structure which is not quite common? As a foreign, it sounds very incomprehensible. Of course, I am able to get the meaning due to your perfect answer. However, when I consider the way it is used instead of using ''when clause'', I find it quite strange. Whatever, it's not that big of a deal. Thank you again. – Emir Arıcı Mar 3 '19 at 11:00
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    @EmirArıcı No, this is not common at all in daily speaking. This is only really used in dated texts. I guess you could call it a 'fancy literature structure' as you neatly put. Glad I've helped. – Lordology Mar 3 '19 at 11:21
  • What's so "dated" about the phrase? – TRomano Mar 3 '19 at 11:37
  • I have heard this pattern used quite a lot, yes, and have given real attestations in my answer showing that it is used in practical (i.e. non-literary, non-antiquated) contexts. Compare come next Tuesday google.com/… – TRomano Mar 4 '19 at 9:25
  • @Lordology: You are mistaken. Many of the examples of come next Tuesday are germane, and many are current. come + {time phrase} is in common use, at least in AmE. – TRomano Mar 4 '19 at 16:19

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