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THE RECORD, by                    
First Line: I have seen, I have seen
Last Line: And play with people down below.
Alternate Author Name(s): Cole, G. D. H.
Subject(s): Oxford University


I.

I HAVE seen, I have seen,
Thou art fair as the sun,
Thy glances as keen,
Thy changes as many.
How thy radiances run
To my spirit that longs for thy face that is fairer and dearer than any.

I have felt thee so near
That the sound of thy breathing
Has fall'n on mine ear,
Like a whisper of gladness,
And the warmth of it wreathing
Around me has been as the breath of a spirit of exquisite madness.

I have touched thee; thy touch
Has been warm on my flesh,
Lying lightly, ev'n such
As the touch of desire.
How the memory is fresh
Of a touch that has run to my heart with a trail of unquenchable fire.

II.

THOU art the blue of the sky,
Thou art the grey of the cloud,
Thou art the lamb's slight cry,
And the train that roars aloud.

Thou art the sum of all,
Thou art the soul in me:
No sound or sight can fall
But is full of the form of thee.

III.

I HAVE lain with thee beside me,
And watched the pale stars shine,
And felt thy form beside me,
Through the long night divine.

O loveliness commingling
In my heart with the starry sky,
Thou hast usurped the splendour
Of God's eternity.

IV.

AT A CONCERT.

ONLY a touch of our hands by chance --
Oh, but a trail of flame.
Only a thoughtless, joyful glance,
But who shall name its name?

A look from thee, and thy body warm,
And the music mingling clear,
And out again to the heedless swarm,
Where I may not call thee dear.

V.

IT is good to love, though love have a hopeless end:
I thank the gods I have lived to call thee friend.
Yea, I thank the gods, though this be the end of all,
Though their decree is fixed and must befall,
Yet I have seen thy face. It is hard to say
That all must end, but I know not another way.
It is hard to live, when the light that burned ahead
Has flashed up high for a moment and sunk down dead.
It is hard; but the light of life still burns within,
And the love of thee that has lost the hope to win,
Still is a mighty power and cannot perish:
It shall guide my life, though it have none to cherish.
Though I have lost, thank God for remembrance still:
For how can I say that my life has fallen out ill,
While still the memory of thee stands fair and fast
And the image of thee, and a present built of the past.
Time was, I dreamed of the future, glad dreams and wild;
And now and again I woke from my dream and smiled;
For I knew even then, when my heart grew sober and dull
That, with this I had won already, my cup was full:
But now I must lose even that: thank God again
That memory lives of the love I have loved in vain.

In vain? nay, not quite vainly, if this be so:
For the image of thee is a precious thing to know,
And the thought of thee shall be my paraclete,
When again the fates deny some thing that is sweet.
Then I will think of thee, and thy loss shall seem
A little thing, 'betwixt a dream and a dream.'
Thou, who hast given small love, hast given me this,
A new life, fashioned of dreams, whose might it is
To heed not at all the fates that grudge and deny
The pitiful guerdon man selleth his soul to buy.
I have lost the best. Be it so. Shall the heart repine?
Or seek bought pleasures to soothe or the savour of wine?
Nay, if a man love well, having lost the best,
He will keep the memory of that and turn to his rest.
The years have many a deed they will yet unfold
And my heart shall soon wake to the call of their glittering gold.
They have gifts yet to offer, and, though they deny me thy glory,
O best of all, who knoweth the end of the story?

VI.

THE great sun's golden glory writhes on the parching ground;
The breathless woods are silent, the air has not a sound.
The dead day yields no gladness: beneath the sheer, sharp sky,
Upon this hill of sorrow, I watch the great birds fly.

They fly with leaden pinions and gaunt uneasy flight,
Sweeping in sad procession across the ways of light:
Their gloomy shapes, as shadows, brood on the wingless airs;
My heart that mourns thine absence the heavy silence shares.

I dare not speak within me the only words I know,
That I have lost thy presence -- I who have loved thee so.
I cannot meet the silence that shrouds thine empty place;
But on this hill of weeping I watch the hard sky's face.

VII.

WE passed by chance at the door,
The gloom was in thy face:
This is the self-same place,
Here where we meet no more.

I had often seen thee glad
Or listless, or asleep,
But my heart gave a leap
To see thy face so sad.

And my lips idly moved,
And my mouth strove to cry,
As thou wast passing by,
O lost and dearly loved.

VIII

EPILOGUE.

IT'S mighty odd
To be a God,
And sit above the world and view
Men doing things I used to do.

It's but a year,
Since I was there,
And had my loves and hates, and spent
My time in grief and merriment.

I knew a boy:
'Tis now my joy
To see him grown a man, who plays
The part I played in former days.

For I have won
Above the sun
A careless freedom from all grief
And pleasure that's but freedom's thief.

I dwell sublime
Past space and time:
I live secure from every doubt
That used to blow my mind about.

But it's so odd
To be a God,
That sometimes I could almost go
And play with people down below.





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