Man lives alone; star-like, each soul
In its own orbit circles ever;
Myriads may by or round it roll --
The ways may meet, but mingle never.
Self-pois'd, each soul its course pursues
In light or dark, companionless:
Drop into drop may blend the dews --
The spirit's law is loneliness.
If seemingly two souls unite,
'Tis but as joins yon silent mere
The stream that through it, flashing bright,
Carries its waters swift and clear.
The fringes of the rushing tide
May on the lake's calm bosom sleep --
Its hidden spirit doth abide
Apart, still bearing toward the deep.
O Love, to me more dear than life!
O Friend, more faithful than a brother!
How many a bitter inward strife
Our souls have never told each other!
We journey side by side for years,
We dream our lives, our hopes are one --
And with some chance-said word appears
The spanless gulf, so long unknown!
For candour's want yet neither blame;
Even to ourselves but half-confessed,
Glows in each heart some silent flame,
Blooms some hope-violet of the breast.
And temptings dark, and struggles deep
There are, each soul alone must bear,
Through midnight hours unblest with sleep,
Through burning noontides of despair.
And kindly is the ordinance sent
By which each spirit dwells apart --
Could Love or Friendship live, if rent
The "Bluebeard chambers of the heart"?