The Guest.

From: The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Osgood and Company 1875 Boston


THOU shalt go alone and sad.
Men will deem thy raptures vain,
And thy products poor and bad,
And thy progress change, not gain.

When thou meet’st another man,
Thou from him and he from thee
Shall be shut as by a ban,
Save in words of courtesy.

Symbols thou shalt deem uncouth
To his creed are clear and fair;
What to thee is trust and truth
Seems to him but empty air.

Thou and he are veiled about
By two webs of time and space,
Spun from films of faith and doubt,
Warped and woofed across each face.

Only on the central ground
Paved by character and deeds
Shall the interchange be found
Spirit touching spirit needs.

If thou strivest much to love
What the multitude delights,
Thy unwilling guest shall prove
Darkener of thy own true lights.

In thy home-spun garb and place,
In the castle of thy thought,
Heed not every stranger face
Peering in, to tell thee naught.

But when flits a spirit nigh,
Howsoever mean his state,
If kindred light illumes his eye,
See that he passes not thy gate.
Him thou shalt house, and entertain,
Till thou hast made his love thy gain.

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