‘Tis not the thing itself, ‘tis the approach ;
The different fall of light whence one has come,
The other scenes that erstwhile filled the eyes –
These form impression on the mind. Let no reproach
Be levelled at the object which itself is dumb ;
We see by dint of what has made us wise.
From this tall cliff the waters that encroach
Are innocent of menace, though to some
Who sail thereon they may hold miseries.
The learner cannot see as sees the coach.
So when we look at death his face is grim,
For at our backs is all that life makes sweet ;
We cannot know, with knowledge incomplete,
He is the herald of the Cherubim !
Weekly Times 4.5.62