Now when I am near to you, dear friend,
Passing out of myself, being delivered —
Through those eyes and lips and hands, so loved, so ardently loved,
I am become free;
In the sound of your voice I dwell
As in a world defended from evil.
When I am accounted by the world to be — all that I leave behind;
It is nothing to me any longer.
Like one who leaves a house with all its mouldy old furniture and pitches
his camp under heaven’s blue,
So I take up my abode in your presence —
I find my deliverance in you.
Text: Edward Carpenter, When I am near you, Towards Democracy, 1905
Image: Sitters, photographer unknown