The Absolute Explains


" O no," said It: " her lifedoings
Time's touch hath not destroyed:
They lie their length, with the throbbing things
Akin them, down the Void,
Live, unalloyed.


" Know, Time is toothless, seen all through;
The Present, that men but see,
Is phasmal: since in a sane purview
All things are shaped to be


" Your " Now " is just a gleam, a glide
Across your gazing sense:
With me, " Past " , " Future " , ever abide:
They come not, go not, whence
They are never hence.


" As one upon a dark highway,
Plodding by lantern-light,
Finds but the reach of its frail ray
Uncovered to his sight,
Though mid the night


" The road lies all its length the same,
Forwardly as at rear,
So, outside what you " Present " name,
Future and Past stand sheer,
Cognate and clear."


— Thus It: who straightway opened then
The vista called the Past,
Wherein were seen, as fair as when
They seemed they could not last,
Small things and vast.


There were those songs, a score times sung,
With all their tripping tunes,
There were the laughters once that rung,
There those unmatched full moons,
Those idle noons!


There fadeless, fixed, were dust-dead flowers
Remaining still in blow;
Elsewhere, wild love-makings in bowers;
Hard by, that irised bow
Of years ago.


There were my ever memorable
Glad days of pilgrimage,
Coiled like a precious parchment fell,
Illumined page by page,
Unhurt by age.


" — Here you see spread those mortal ails
So powerless to restrain
Your young life's eager hot assails,
With hazards then not plain
Till past their pain.


" Here you see her who, by these laws
You learn of, still shines on,
As pleasing-pure as erst she was,
Though you think she lies yon,
Graved, glow all gone.


" Here are those others you used to prize. —
But why go further we?
The Future? — Well, I would advise
You let the future be,
Unshown by me!


" 'Twould harrow you to see undraped
The scenes in ripe array
That wait your globe — all worked and shaped;
And I'll not, as I say,
Bare them to-day.


" In fine, Time is a mock, — yea, such! —
As he might well confess:
Yet hath he been believed in much,
Though lately, under stress
Of science, less.


" And hence of her you asked about
At your first speaking: she
Hath, I assure you, not passed out
Of continuity,
But is in me.


" So thus doth Being's length transcend
Time's ancient regal claim
To see all lengths begin and end.
" The Fourth Dimension " fame
Bruits as its name."
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