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Your world is not my world,
And my world is not yours,
Nor ever shall we span the void,
Or open wide the doors.

What know I of the inner you,
The real – not that which seems:
I cannot think your midnight thoughts
Or dream your troubled dreams;

We speak a different language,
An alien tongue unknown,
And in the castles of our souls
We live for e’er alone.

Like ships upon uncharted seas,
We sail in silence by,
While in our holds, fast-batten’d down,
Our secret cargoes lie.

Our compasses point randomly
Across the cavernous deeps,
Defying the powers of darkness
And the terrors that slowly creep.

It is not true, it never was,
That two can e’er be one:
For in our deepest hopes and needs
All men are islands strong;
(Except, perchance, the poet,
Who lays his feelings bare,
And sings his songs of sixpences
For all the world to hear).

For signals can be hoisted
Ere our ships sink to the grave,
And one, perhaps, who’s sailing by
Will understand – and wave.

For oft I am Arabian,
Or Chinese, Greek or Scot,
And then within my inward soul
I feel mans’ common lot.
For in our fears and mortal needs
All men are brothers true:
Our dread of death and age and want
Kins infidel with Jew.

But talk not of our self-same roots
Or universal cries:
‘Tis in the seeds of difference
Man’s greatness ever lies.

© 2012 Thurstan Bassett

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