I am older than Nature and her Time
By all the timeless age of Consciousness,
And my adult oblivion of the clime
Where I was born makes me not countryless.
Ay, and dim through my daylight thoughts escape
Yearnings for that land where my childhood dreamed,
Which I cannot recall in colour or shape
But haunts my hours like something that hath gleamed
And yet is not as light remembered,
Nor to the left or to the right conceived;
And all round me tastes as if life were dead
And the world made but to be disbelieved.
Thus I my hope on unknown truth lay; yet
How but by hope do I the unknown truth get?
When I have sense of what to sense appears,
Sense is sense ere 'tis mine or mine in me is.
When I hear, Hearing, ere I do hear, hears.
When I see, before me abstract Seeing sees.
I am part Soul part I in all I touch—
Soul by that part I hold in common with all,
And I the spoiled part, that doth make sense such
As I can err by it and my sense mine call.
The rest is wondering what these thoughts may mean,
That come to explain and suddenly are gone,
Like messengers that mock the message' mien,
Explaining all but the explanation;
As if we a ciphered letter's cipher hit
And find it in an unknown language writ.