When you were there, and you, and you,
Happiness crowned the night; I too,
Laughing and looking, one
I watched the quivering lamplight fall
On plate and flowers and pouring tea
And cup and cloth; and
they and we
Flung all the dancing moments by
With jest and glitter. Lip and eye
Flashed on the glory,
shone and cried,
And fitfully and like a flame
The light of laughter went and
Proud in their careless transience moved
The changing faces that I loved.
Till suddenly, and otherwhence,
I looked upon your innocence.
For lifted clear and still and strange
the dark woven flow of change
Under a vast and starless sky
I saw the immortal moment lie.
I, an instant, knew
As God knows all. And it and you
I, above Time, oh, blind! could see
In witless immortality.
saw the marble cup; the tea,
Hung on the air, an amber stream;
I saw the fire's unglittering gleam,
painted flame, the frozen smoke.
No more the flooding lamplight broke
On flying eyes and lips and hair;
lay, but slept unbroken there,
On stiller flesh, and body breathless,
And lips and laughter stayed and deathless,
words on which no silence grew.
Light was more alive than you.
For suddenly, and otherwhence,
I looked on your magnificence.
I saw the stillness and the light,
august, immortal, white,
Holy and strange; and every glint
Posture and jest and thought and tint
the mask of transiency,
Triumphant in eternity,
Human eyes grew, mortal strength
Wearied; and Time began to creep.
about me like a sleep.
Light glinted on the eyes I loved.
The cup was filled. The bodies moved.
petal came to ground.
The laughter chimed its perfect round.
The broken syllable was ended.
And I, so
certain and so friended,
How could I cloud, or how distress,
The heaven of your unconsciousness?
shake at Time's sufficient spell,
Stammering of lights unutterable?
The eternal holiness of you,
end, you never knew,
The peace that lay, the light that shone.
You never knew that I had gone
miles away, and stayed
A million years. The laughter played
Unbroken round me; and the jest
on. And we that knew the best
Down wonderful hours grew happier yet.
I sang at heart, and talked, and
And lived from laugh to laugh, I too,
When you were there, and you, and you.