From "The Metempsychosis Of The Pine."
By Bayard Taylor
As when the haze of some wan moonlight makes
Familiar fields a land of mystery,
Where, chill and strange, a ghostly presence wakes
In flower or bush or tree,
Another life, the life of day o’erwhelms
The past from present consciousness takes hue
As we remember vast and cloudy realms
Our feet have wandered through:
So, oft, some moonlight of the mind makes dumb
The stir of outer thought: wide open seems
The gate where through strange sympathies have come
The secret of our dreams;
The source of fine impressions, shooting deep
Below the falling plummet of the sense
Which strike beyond all Time and backward sweep
Through all intelligence.
We touch the lower life of beast and clod
And the long process of the ages see
From blind old Chaos, ere the breath of God
Moved it to harmony.
All outward vision yields to that within
Whereof nor creed nor canon holds the key;
We only feel that we have ever been
And evermore shall be.
And thus I know by memories unfurled
In rarer moods and many a subtle sign,
That at one time and somewhere in the world
I was a towering pine.