Thought is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought:
Souls to souls never can teach
What unto themselves was taught.
We are spirits clad in veils;
Man by man was never seen;
All our deep communing fails
To remove the shadowy screen.
Heart to heart was never known;
Mind with mind did never meet;
We are columns left alone
Of a temple once complete.
Like the stars that gem the sky,
Far apart though seeming near,
In our light we scattered lie;
All is thus but starlight here.
What is social company
But a babbling summer stream?
What our wise philosophy
But the glancing of a dream?
Only when the Sun of Love
Melts the scattered stars of thought,
Only when we live above
What the dim-eyed world hath taught,
Only when our souls are fed
By the Fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led
Which they never drew from earth,
We, like parted drops of rain,
Swelling till they meet and run,
Shall all be absorbed again,
Melting, flowing, into one.
Christopher Pearse Cranch was born in the District of Columbia. His conservative father, William Cranch, was Chief Judge of the United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, while his brother John was a painter. As an artist, Cranch painted landscapes similar to the work of Thomas Cole, the Hudson River school, and the Barbizon school in France.