THE METAPHYSICAL AMORIST
~ by J. V. Cunningham
You are the problem I propose,
My dear, the text my musings glose.
I call you for convenience love.
By definition you’re a cause
Inferred by necessary laws–
You are so to the saints above.
But in this shadowy lower life
I sleep with a terrestrial wife
And earthly children I beget.
Love is a fiction I must use,
A privilege I can abuse,
And sometimes something I forget.
Now, in the heavenly other place
Love is in the eternal mind
The luminous form whose shade she is,
A ghost discarnate, thought defined.
She was so to my early bliss,
She is so while I comprehend
The form my senses apprehend,
And in the end she will be so.
Her whom my hands embrace I kiss,
Her whom my mind infers I know.
The one exists in time and space
And as she was she will not be,
The other is in her own grace
And is ‘She is’ eternally.
Plato! you shall not plague my life.
I married a terrestrial wife.
And Hume! she is not mere sensation
In sequence of observed relation.
She has two forms. Ah, thank you, Duns!
I know her in both ways at once.
I knew her, yes, before I knew her,
And by both means I must construe her,
And none among you shall undo her.