After the Visit

(To F.E.D.)

      Come again to the place
Where your presence was as a leaf that skims
Down a drouthy way whose ascent bedims
      The bloom on the farer's face.

      Come again, with the feet
That were light on the green as a thistledown ball,
And those mute ministrations to one and to all
      Beyond a man's saying sweet.

      Until then the faint scent
Of the bordering flowers swam unheeded away,
And I marked not the charm in the changes of day
      As the cloud-colours came and went.

      Through the dark corridors
Your walk was so soundless I did not know
Your form from a phantom's of long ago
      Said to pass on the ancient floors,

      Till you drew from the shad
And I saw the large luminous living eyes
Regard me in fixed inquiring-wise
      As those of a soul that weighed,

      Scarce consciously,
The eternal question of what Life was,
And why we were there, and by whose strange laws
      That which mattered most could not be.