From Other Space


How often dost thou pass my door,
Thine eyes unseeing evermore, —
Thy weary and thy sickened eyes,
That shut against the earth and skies,
Since I am not — not in that space
Where thou wast wont to meet my face ;
— Since I am not — yet am I still,
And see thy sun his round fulfill,
Though shines for me Another Sun, —
My day is light, when thine is done!


At my fair door I, smiling, stand,
And reach to thee the soft white hand
That was thy comfort once, to fold !
Thine own grown shadow-thin and old,
And listless to its task it goes,
Since touch of mine no more it knows.
— Since I am not — or, not to thee,
Who will not, — nay, who cannot see !
Since I am not — not in that space
Which my lov’d prisoner still must trace !


The roses in my garden-croft
(Near — yet not round thee, nor aloft)
Sometimes from these a rose I break.
With thought of thee, its dew outshake, —
With perfume from each glowing leaf :
Swift wonder, then, o’erfilms thy grief ;
And thou dost turn to seek from where
Such passing sweetness smites the air !
It comes, it goes ; thy grief returns ;
Alas, thy soul her soul-sense spurns !


And, sometimes, have I, singing, passed,
And thought to wake thee, thus, at last.
I saw thee brush thine eyes, and start,
As thou hadst heard me with thine heart !
And then to grief’s dull counsel yield :
“ It is the reapers’ song afield —
The echo fainting from the hill ! ”
How can I rouse thy dream-fast will,
Since I am not — not in the space
That bounds thy three-wayed reach and pace !


But when to thee, by moments fleet,
Afar the world’s loud flood-tides beat
(A dreamed-out dream, within thine ear !),
Then to that knowledge art thou near,
That in the air which round thee bends,
Another Real thy real subtends !
Then, hope is lighted in thine eye,
Then only, dost thou cease to sigh
That I am not ! For then, is grace
To soothe thee, lent from Other Space !