I sometimes hold it half a sin To put in words the grief I feel: For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within. But, for the unquiet heart and brain, A use in measured language lies; The sad mechanic exercise, Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
But where the path we walk’d began To slant the fifth autumnal slope, As we descended following Hope, There sat the Shadow fear’d of man; Who broke our fair companionship, And spread his mantle dark and cold, And wrapped thee formless in the fold.
O Sorrow, wilt thou live with me No casual mistress, but a wife, My bosom-friend and half of life; As I confess it needs must be? O Sorrow, wilt thou rule my blood, Be sometimes lovely like a bride, And put thy harsher moods aside, If thou wilt have me wise and good.
No visual shade of someone lost, But he, the Spirit himself, may come Where all the nerve of sense is numb; Spirit to Spirit, Ghost to Ghost. . . . Descend, and touch, and enter; hear The wish too strong for words to name; That in the blindness of the frame My Ghost may feel that thine is near.
Dear friend, far off, my lost desire, So far, so near in woe and weal; O loved the most, when most I feel There is a lower and a higher; Known and unknown; human, divine; Sweet human hand and lips and eye; Dear heavenly friend that canst not die, Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine[.]