He Follows Himself

In a heavy time I dogged myself
Along a louring way,
Till my leading self to my following self
Said: ‘Why do you hang on me
So harassingly?’

‘I have watched you, Heart of mine,’ I cried,
‘So often going astray
And leaving me, that I have pursued,
Feeling such truancy
Ought not to be.’

He said no more, and I dogged him on
From noon to the dun of day
By prowling paths, until anew
He begged: ‘Please turn and flee!—
What do you see?’

‘Methinks I see a man,’ said I,
‘Dimming his hours to gray.
I will not leave him while I know
Part of myself is he
Who dreams such dree!’

‘I go to my old friend's house,’ he urged,
‘So do not watch me, pray!’
‘Well, I will leave you in peace,’ said I,
‘Though of this poignancy
You should fight free:

‘Your friend, O other me, is dead:
You know not what you say.’
—‘That do I! And at his green-grassed door
By night's bright galaxy
I bend a knee.’

—The yew-plumes moved like mockers' beards
Though only boughs were they,
And I seemed to go; yet still was there,
And am, and there haunt we
Thus bootlessly.
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