A shroud; a shade; a fleeting imprint wrought
Of smoke, of shadow, half-imagin'd, lit
By longing, from a midnight silence brought
And banished, with a look, now, bit by bit.
A stain; a smear; a blotch upon the name
That had for cent'ries pure, untarnished, stood,
To those who raged, denied: a scar, a shame-
But for the self-struck victim, no less good.
This never was, in some forgotten age,
Nor yet among those tribes whose ways are not
Corrupted yet by th'gods of this new stage
Of social order, which has Earth forgot.
There ne'er was any psychic illness known
When mankind claimed not Nature for its own.