How yesterday is long ago! The past
Is a fixed infinite distance from to-day,
And bygone things, the first-lived as the last,
In irreparable sameness far away.
How the to-be is infinitely ever
Out of the place wherein it will be Now,
Like the seen wave yet far up in the river,
Which reaches not us, but the new-waved flow!
This thing Time is, whose being is having none,
The equable tyrant of our different fates,
Who could not be bought off by a shattered sun
Or tricked by new use of our careful dates.
This thing Time is, that to the grave will bear
My heart, sure but of it and of my fear.
The edge of the green wave whitely doth hiss
Upon the wetted sand. I look, yet dream.
Surely reality cannot be this!
Somehow, somewhere this surely doth but seem!
The sky, the sea, this great extent disclosed
Of outward joy, this bulk of life we feel,
Is not something, but something interposed.
Only what in this is not this is real.
If this be to have sense, if to be awake
Be but to see this bright, great sleep of things,
For the rarer potion mine own dreams I'll take
And for truth commune with imaginings,
Holding a dream too bitter, a too fair curse,
This common sleep of men, the universe.