Never a slumber the whole of the night,
Never a slumber with day in the skies;
Nature assumes preternatural light,
Set in sharp outlines that dazzle my eyes.
Blackness and whiteness—no
colour there is—
Terrible contrast of lustre and shade—
Yet no surprise thrills my spirit at this
Wonderful world into silhouettes made.
Countries and cities rush hastily by,
Hedgerows and forests excitedly fly;
Rapidly earth pirouettes through the sky;
All things are madly in motion, but I—
If they would stop for one minute, but one,
Thought might return from spheres distant and dim;
Thought has forsaken me; I am alone,
With but one consciousness—nothing but him.
We have reach’d the station—the
train is left:
What I am doing I know must be done;
I am a creature whose body’s bereft
Of all sensations and feelings save one.
I don’t think I see the streets and the lights, Or hear the answers my questions brought; Yet something guides me, and guides me aright— Is mesmerism the nonsense I thought? If the brain, engross’d by a single fact, Fails the whole army of nerves to sustain, The outposts perhaps, refusing to act, Transmit neither sight nor sound to the brain.
But are SOULS dependent on eye and ear?
Does nothing come straight to them from above?
Are there no spirit-instincts, to see and hear,
And no miraculous power of Love?
I have found the Crescent, and number
I have rung the bell—the servant has come—
I have opened my lips, and words run through,
And they ask ‘Is Mr. Clarence at home?’
A man has appear’d from some inner place
(I heard him describ’d ’ere this trance began)—
Is he moving away into empty space?
I must come to life and must stop this man.
A terrible nightmare on throat and brain—
A body and soul in bewilder’d strife—
Shall I never be quite alive again?—
I’ll make a desperate struggle for life!
I catch at his arm as he passes by,
As a drowning creature clutches at life;
And I whisper low as a lullaby—
‘Give him me instantly—I am his wife!’
He stares in my face with nothing to say—
A tremor comes over his brow and lip—
He flings up his arms in a helpless way,
And stammers—’Alas! he’s on board the ship!’
I am not fainting—I am not
I am not beat down—I feel no despair:
It seems all expected and all forestall’d,
As I utter my three words, ‘When and where?’
’Two hours ago at the Northern quay’—
He offers me food, and to rest and sit—
I have left the house—I am on my way—
I have hail’d a cab and jump’d into it.
O faster! O faster! O yet more
There’s nothing on earth but driving like this:
I know it will all come right at the last,
But I am not certain what the right is.