Skip to main content

Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances.

Part of the cluster CALAMUS.


OF the terrible doubt of appearances, Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded, That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all, That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only, May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills, 
 shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be these  
 are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real  
 something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me and  
 mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of  
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they indeed  
 but seem) as from my present point of view, and might  
 prove (as of course they would) nought of what they  
 appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely changed points  
 of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer'd by my  
 lovers, my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while holding  
 me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and  
 reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am  
 silent, I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of identity  
 beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied, He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

Part of the cluster CALAMUS.

Back to top