A Pure Hypothesis

Ah, love, the teacher we decried,
That erudite professor grim,
In mathematics drenched and dyed,
Too hastily we scouted him.
He said: " The bounds of Time and Space,
The categories we revere,
May be in quite another case
In quite another sphere."

He told us: " Science can conceive
A race whose feeble comprehension
Can't be persuaded to believe
That there exists our Fourth Dimension,
Whom Time and Space for ever baulk;
But of these beings incomplete,
Whether upon their heads they walk
Or stand upon their feet —

We cannot tell, we do not know,
Imagination stops confounded;
We can but say " It may be so, "
To every theory propounded."
Too glad were we in this our scheme
Of things, his notions to embrace, —
But — I have dreamed an awful dream
Of Three-dimensioned Space!

I dreamed — the horror seemed to stun
My logical perception strong,
That everything beneath the sun
Was so unutterably wrong .
I thought — what words can I command? —
That nothing ever did come right.
No wonder you can't understand:
I could not, till last night!

I would not, if I could, recall
The horror of those novel heavens,
Where Present, Past, and Future all
Appeared at sixes and at sevens,
Where Capital and Labour fought,
And, in the nightmare of the mind,
No contradictories were thought
As truthfully combined!

Nay, in that dream-distorted clime,
These fatal wilds I wandered through,
The boundaries of Space and Time
Had got most frightfully askew.
" What is " askew " ?" my love, you cry;
I cannot answer, can't portray;
The sense of Everything awry
No language can convey.

I can't tell what my words denote,
I know not what my phrases mean:
Inexplicable terrors float
Before this spirit once screne.
Ah, what if on some lurid star
There should exist a hapless race,
Who live and love, who think and are,
In Three-dimensioned Space!
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