He stood apart, nor knew I all he was,
Until my years were equal with love's hour
And life dissolved the mortal barrier
That from the spirit parteth every man.
Yet not with gentleness that most endears
We grew together; never morn nor eve
He gave himself all trembling to my arms,
Nor any precious seal set on my lips,
Nor used our way; he saw another world;
More than the wrath of God I feared his eyes.
Yet mildly reigned his beauty in my breast,
And more made fine my senses to discern
His heavenly portion in my frame of earth;
Until, as one who in some friend's true heart
Trembles to find the image of himself
Made pure and perfect in those thoughts of love,
Awe came upon me seeing in his face
The lineaments of my own all sweetly changed
To that ideal I hope to wear in heaven.
So with his passion blending more and more,
As the dark earth when sinks the starry West,
Mortal I moved to meet eternal light;
And, moving, dreamed how that young soul should be
The flaming of a torch across the years,
And through the world the rising of a star.