The Dark Night Of The Mind I could not love if my thought loved not too,
Nor could my body touch the body of you,
Unless first in the dark night of the mind
Love had fulfilled what Love had well designed.

Was it in thought or flesh we walked, when low
The sun dropped, and the white scar on the hill
Sank into the dark trees?
Could we indeed so quietly go
Body by body into that heavenly glow?

The elms that rose so vast above the mill
Near leafless were and still;
But from the branches with such loud unease
Black flocking starlings mixed their warring cries
That seemed the greater noise of the creaking mill;
And every branch and extreme twig was black
With birds that whistled and heard and whistled back,
Filling with noise as late with wings the skies.
Was it their noise we heard,
Or clamour of other thoughts in our quiet mind that stirred?

Then through the climbing hazel hedge new thinned
By the early and rapacious wind,
We saw the silver birches gleam with light
Of frozen masts in seas all wild and green.
O, were they truly trees, or some unseen
Thought taking on an image dark and bright?
And did those bodies see them, or the mind?
And did those bodies face once more the hill
To bathe in night, or on a darker road
Our spirits unseeing unwearying rise and rise
Where these feet never trod?

From that familiar outer darkness I
Would rise to the inner, deeper, darker sky
And find you in my spirit--or find you not,
O, never, never, if not in my thought.

The Dark Night Of The Mind by John Frederick Freeman