STANZAS
by Christopher Cranch

Thought is deeper than all speech;
   Feeling deeper than all thought;
Souls to souls can never teach
   What unto themselves was taught.

We are spirits clad in veils:
   Man by man was never seen:
All our deep communing fails
   To remove the shadowy screen.

Heart to heart was never known:
   Mind with mind did never meet:
We are columns left alone,
   Of a temple once complete.

Like the stars that gem the sky,
   Far apart, though seeming near,
In our light we scatter'd lie;
   All is thus but starlight here.

What is social company
   But a babbling summer stream?
What our wise philosophy
   But the glancing of a dream?

Only when the sun of love
   Melts the scatter'd stars of thought,
Only when we live above
   What the dim-eyed world hath taught,

Only when our souls are fed
   By the fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led
   Which they never drew from earth;

We, like parted drops of rain,
   Swelling till they meet and run,
Shall be all absorbed again,
   Melting, flowing into one.

 

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