The Madman

I had a vision in the night:
That vast mysterious something,
That which hangs imminent in orchestras,
That thing which every human heart expects,
I dreamed had happened to me;
Sometimes I felt it hanging over me
Like the shadow
Of enormous catastrophe,
And then again it was the liberation
From everything,
The unpremeditated event
That hovers, infinite, over every man. . . .

No, it is not death,
Nor love,
Nor fame, success, nor wealth:
These are but paltry things,
The sparrow's wing before the archangel's flight. . . .

Day after day I felt that it would happen
Of which all mankind feel the imminence.
As Christians dream a great, red Judgment Day
And dip their lives into its dreadful color. . . .

And now it must have happened
To me, at last;
The rosy nakedness of immortality,
Or something kin to that,
Has fallen over me:
I am all ecstacy,
And cannot give it words. . . .

And yet they lead me off,
One upon either side,
Saying that I am mad!
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