A BROTHER wandered forth with me,|
Beside a barren beach:
He harped on things beyond the sea,
And out of reach.
He hinted once of unknown skies,
And then I would not hark,
But turned away from steadfast eyes,
Into the dark.
And said—“an ancient faith is dead
And wonder fills my mind:
I marvel how the blind have led
So long the blind.
“Behold this truth we only know
That night is on the land!
And we a weary way must go
To find God’s hand.”
I wept—“Our fathers told us, Lord,
That Thou wert kind and just,
But lo! our wailings fly abroad
For broken trust.
“How many evil ones are here
Who mocking go about,
Because we are too faint with fear
To wrestle Doubt!
“Thy riddles are beyond the ken
Of creatures of the sod:
Remember that we are but men,
And Thou art God!
“O, doting world, methinks your stay
Is weaker than a reed!
Our Father turns His face away;
’Tis dark indeed.”
The evening woods lay huddled there,
All wrapped in silence strange:
A sudden wind—and lo! the air
Was filled with change.
“Your words are wild,” my brother said,
“For God’s voice fills the breeze;
Go—hide yourself, as Adam did,
Amongst the trees.
“I pluck the shoes from off my feet,
But dare to look around;
Behold,” he said, “my Lord I greet,
On holy ground!”
And God spake through the wind to me—
“Shake off that gloom of Fear,
You fainting soul who could not see
That I was near.
“Why vex me crying day and night?—
You call on me to hark!
But when I bless your world with light,
Who makes it dark?
“Is there a ravelled riddle left
That you would have undone?
What other doubts are there to sift?”
“My son, look up, if you would see
The Promise on your way,
And turn a trustful face to me.”