I recall a windy, bright blue and gold autumn morning on the Isle of Skye. Another life ago. I followed as someone dear to me walked ahead across a wide green field toward a grey stone crumbling castle on the edge of a cliff. Beyond the castle lay the deep-blue of the Little Minch, white-capped. Am I imagining it, or did she turn and smile?
When the cloud shut down on the morning shine,
And darkened the sun,
I said, "So ended that joy of mine
Years back begun."
But day continued its lustrous roll
In upper air;
And did my late irradiate soul
Live on somewhere?
Thomas Hardy, Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses (Macmillan 1917).
Stephen McKenna, "Foliage" (1983)
Of course Hardy would think this way! It is he who wrote: "I believe it would be said by people who knew me well that I have a faculty (possibly not uncommon) for burying an emotion in my heart or brain for forty years, and exhuming it at the end of that time as fresh as when interred." Thomas Hardy, The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy (edited by Michael Millgate) (Macmillan 1985), page 408. (How like Hardy -- so conversant with, and so fond of, graveyards and tombs and revenants -- to use the words "burying," "exhuming," and "interred" in this context.)
"Irradiate": "illumined; made bright or brilliant." OED.
We may not now recognize those strangers of our past lives, but how lovely, and how comforting, to think that their irradiate souls live on somewhere.
Still there, somewhere:
the moon off behind the mist
traversing the night.
Shōhaku (1443-1527) (translated by Steven Carter), in Steven Carter, Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology (Stanford University Press 1991), page 307.
Richard Eurich, "The Road to Grassington" (1971)