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And as for him, he got engaged in talk
(Or ' married ' I suppose ! ) with Mr. Hook,
Our last new doctor,—(quite a clever man,
I hear, especially in certain things
Which have no interest for a girl like you ;)
And kept him idle, much to my chagrin,
For the said doctor dances charmingly.
Was it not all too bad? My husband says
He must not come again, nor Eucharis,
To make him look a fool.

And now good bye;
O what a letter! How will you survive
The reading of it?

19

LETTER III.

LEONARD TO EUCHARIS.

From London: Jan. 28, 18-2.

Thanks for your last, more dear to me than ever.

This is the answer to your searching out

Of what love means, in spirit and in truth,—

Nearness and openness; if ever time

Should come when we are wedded, to the world,

Perchance I then could find some other word

Which you would then more clearly understand.

Till then, if ever we should come indeed

To add the outward to the inward troth,

This word, I mean the second, will suffice.

You doubt my definition? Lest you should,
And I not by to comment thereupon,

Let me by letter labour to explain.

A labour, truly, in the scanty space

Afforded by a letter, to express

My meaning clearly; it will help, I think,

To lay down first some postulates,—some signs

Which have to us a like significance;

(For all disputings which the world has seen

Spring from this chiefly,—want of one consent

As to the meaning of some common phrase.)

What then is true to us? (It matters not,

When thus between ourselves, how truth appears

To others.) We discern two separate states;

Not separate by Time, for ever both

Are co-existent; one invisible

Which we have labelled spiritual, and one

Material, which is servant to the first,

And only has existence while the first

Exists to comprehend it, ever changed

To match the constant progress of the soul.

(You will recall our earlier conversations

Which touched on this.) The one the dwelling-
place
Of Infinite Principle, which men call God;
The other filled with facts, the best of which
Are men themselves; yet is each separate fact
Still instinct with some share of Principle;
Whether in lower orders matters not
This moment to discuss, but certainly,
And consciously, would men but hold it so,
With men; who in an image have been taught
To call themselves the sons of Principle,—
Children of God, and therefore heirs of all
Which is Eternal, Infinite, and True.
Men truly are so; yet they undergo,
While in the visible state, a slavery,
Or what would be so, to material claims;
And hence come words that shadow forth degrees
Of less or greater bondage,—virtue, love,
Sin, faith, hope, honour, mercy, and the like;
Only of these is love the constant chief,

Because 'tis positive,—a thing to do,—
And not mere school-boy shunning of reproof;—
Because all else lives in it; wherefore some
Have said that God is love, not meaning thus
To limit and confine Him, but to show
That love is aye the surest path to climb
To nearness and to likeness. Here, you see,
My proof comes round again; nearness to God
Is love, and therefore, men being sons of God,
Nearness of soul is that which among men
Results in all those sweet performances
Which chiefly keep forgetfulness of God
From laying waste all corners of the earth.
And openness comes after; are we not,
O Eucharis, ourselves the living proof
Of this great consequence? Could I have dared
To ask your love, to ask to be near you,
And not revealed all those abiding marks
Of bondage to some gross material thing
Which I must bear about me? Might not else

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