The New World

Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Celia was laughing. Hopefully I said:

“How shall this beauty that we share,

This love, remain aware

Beyond our happy breathing of the air?

How shall it be fulfilled and perfected?...

If you were dead,

How then should I be comforted?”

But Celia knew instead:

“He who finds beauty here, shall find it there.”

A halo gathered round her hair.

I looked and saw her wisdom bare

The living bosom of the countless dead.

... And there

I laid my head.

Again when Celia laughed, I doubted her and said:

“Life must be led

In many ways more difficult to see

Than this immediate way

For you and me.

We stand together on our lake’s edge, and the mystery

Of love has made us one, as day is made of night and night of day.

Aware of one identity

Within each other, we can say:

‘I shall be everything you are.’...

We are uplifted till we touch a star.

We know that overhead

Is nothing more austere, more starry, or more deep to understand

Than is our union, human hand in hand.

.... But over our lake come strangers—a crowded launch, a lonely sailing boy.

A mile away a train bends by. In every car

Strangers are travelling, each with particular

And unkind preference like ours, with privacy

Of understanding, with especial joy

Like ours. Celia, Celia, why should there be

Distrust between ourselves and them, disunity?

.... How careful we have been

To trim this little circle that we tread,

To set a bar

To strangers and forbid them!—Are they not as we,

Our very likeness and our nearest kin?

How can we shut them out and let stars in?”

She looked along the lake. And when I heard her speak,

The sun fell on the boy’s white sail and her white cheek.

“I touch them all through you,” she said. “I cannot know them now

Deeply and truly as my very own, except through you,

Except through one or two


But not a moment stirs

Here between us, binding and interweaving us,

That does not bind these others to our care.”

The sunlight fell in glory on her hair....

And then said Celia, radiant, when I held her near:

“They who find beauty there, shall find it here.”

And on her brow,

When I heard Celia speak,

Cities were populous

With peace and oceans echoed glories in her ear

And from her risen thought

Her lips had brought,

As from some peak

Down through the clouds, a mountain-air

To guide the lonely and uplift the weak.

“Record it all,” she told me, “more than merely this,

More than the shine of sunset on our heads, more than a kiss,

More than our rapt agreement and delight

Watching the mountain mingle with the night....

Tell that the love of two incurs

The love of multitudes, makes way

And welcome for them, as a solitary star

Brings on the great array.

Go make a lovers’ calendar,”

She said, “for every day.”

And when the sun had put away

His dazzle, over the shadowy firs

The solitary star came out.... So on some night

To eyes of youth shall come my light

And hers.


“Where are you bound, O solemn voyager?”

She laughed one day and asked me in her mirth:

“Where are you from?

Why are you come?”