Sonnet XXIII.

A poem by Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa

Even as upon a low and cloud-domed day,
When clouds are one cloud till the horizon,
Our thinking senses deem the sun away
And say «'tis sunless» and «there is no sun»;
And yet the very day they wrong truth by
Is of the unseen sun's effluent essence,
The very words do give themselves the lie,
The very thought of absence comes from presence:
Even so deem we through Good of what is evil.
He speaks of light that speaks of absent light,
And absent god, becoming present devil,
Is still the absent god by essence' right.
The withdrawn cause by being withdrawn doth get
(Being thereby cause still) the denied effect.

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