(15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924 / Kennington / Surrey / England)

The Veil Of Maya

SWEET, I have loved before. I know
This longing that invades my days;
This shape that haunts life's busy ways
I know since long and long ago.

This starry mystery of delight
That floats across my eager eyes,
This pain that makes earth Paradise,
These magic songs of day and night--

I know them for the things they are:
A passing pain, a longing fleet,
A shape that soon I shall not meet,
A fading dream of veil and star.

Yet, even as my lips proclaim
The wisdom that the years have lent,
Your absence is joy's banishment,
And life's one music is your name.

I love you to my heart's hid core:
Those other loves? how should one learn
From marshlights how the great fires burn?
Ah, no! I never loved before!

by Edith Nesbit

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