Page:Essays and phantasies by James Thomson.djvu/13

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A LADY OF SORROW.


1862, 1864.


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INTRODUCTORY NOTE.


About three years before his death I received from my friend Vane certain manuscripts with the somewhat fierce Envoy:—

From the midst of the fire I fling
   These arrows of fire to you:
If they sing, and burn, and sting,
   You feel how I burn too;
But if they reach you there
   Speed-spent, charred black and cold,
The fire burns out in the air,
   The Passion will not be told.

From these papers I have selected and now edit the following piece, which embodies the ideas then supreme in his mind with relation to the question of the immortality of the human soul. He was at that time wont to declare that he believed in the soul's immortality as a Materialist believes in the immortality of matter: he believed that the universal soul subsists for ever, just as a Materialist believes that uni-