I feel I have - and who has not?
An inner and outer life:
The one may be a dreary lot,
With sorrow and with suff'ring rife;
While in the other may be found
A magic world of fancies fair,
Where brightest dreams of joy abound,
And never enters dark despair.
The life I live may seem to those
Who gaze upon it outwardly
A drear existence, full of woes
And never-ceasing misery;
But in the mystic life of mind,
Abstracted from earth's things of sense,
Oblivious to my grief, I find
A joy exalted and intense.
My outward life is prison-gloomed,
My life of dreams is fancy free;
The one is ever care-consumed,
The other tranquil as can be.
Existence that is sternly real
As mine would crush the heart with grief,
Were it not that the bright ideal
With visioned joy imparts relief.
There's not a joy the world can give,
There's not a bliss the heart has known,
But in the spirit life I live
I have the power to make my own.
I care not what my actual lot
While thus sustained my soul can be;
My sorrows shall be all forgot
In fairest dreams of poesy.