Ah, take the cash, and let the credit go,
Nor head the rumble of a distant dream!
Drink ! For you know not whence you came, nor why;
Drink ! For you know not why you go nor where.
Heav’n but the Vision of fulfill’d Desire,
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire.
Here with a loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of wine, a book of Verse– and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
And Wilderness is Paradise now.
I sent my Soul through the invisible,
Some letter of that Afterlife to spell,
And by and by my soul returned to me,
And answered “I Myself am Heaven and Hell.”
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
The flower that once has blown forever dies.
The bird of time has but a little way
To flutter – and the bird is on the wing.
The thoughtful Soul to solitude retries.
There was the Door to which I found no key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see.