Thought was born blind, but Thought knows what is seeing.
Its careful touch, deciphering forms from shapes,
Still suggests form as aught whose proper being
Mere finding touch with erring darkness drapes.
Yet whence, except from guessed sight, does touch teach
That touch is but a close and empty sense?
How does mere touch, self-uncontented, reach
For some truer sense's whole intelligence?
The thing once touched, if touch be now omitted,
Stands yet in memory real and outward known,
So the untouching memory of touch is fitted
With sense of a sense whereby far things are shown
So, by touch of untouching, wrongly aright,
Touch' thought of seeing sees not things but Sight.
My soul is a stiff pageant, man by man,
Of some Egyptian art than Egypt older,
Found in some tomb whose rite no guess can scan,
Where all things else to coloured dust did moulder.
Whate'er its sense may mean, its age is twin
To that of priesthoods whose feet stood near God,
When knowledge was so great that 'twas a sin
And man's mere soul too man for its abode.
But when I ask what means that pageant I
And would look at it suddenly, I lose
The sense I had of seeing it, nor can try
Again to look, nor hath my memory a use
That seems recalling, save that it recalls
An emptiness of having seen those walls.