Leaves from Australian Forests

Faith in God

Henry Kendall

HAVE faith in God. For whosoever lists
    To calm conviction in these days of strife,
Will learn that in this steadfast stand exists
    The scholarship severe of human life.

This face to face with doubt! I know how strong
    His thews must be who fights and falls and bears,
By sleepless nights and vigils lone and long,
    And many a woeful wraith of wrestling prayers.

Yet trust in Him! Not in an old man throned
    With thunders on an everlasting cloud,
But in that awful Entity enzoned
    By no wild wraths nor bitter homage loud.

When from the summit of some sudden steep
    Of speculation you have strength to turn
To things too boundless for the broken sweep
    Of finer comprehension, wait and learn

That God hath been “His own interpreter”
    From first to last. So you will understand
The tribe who best succeed, when men most err,
    To suck through fogs the fatness of the land.

One thing is surer than the autumn tints
    We saw last week in yonder river bend—
That all our poor expression helps and hints,
    However vaguely, to the solemn end

That God is truth; and if our dim ideal
    Fall short of fact—so short that we must weep—
Why shape specific sorrows, though the real
    Be not the song which erewhile made us sleep?

Remember, truth draws upward. This to us
    Of steady happiness should be a cause
Beyond the differential calculus
    Or Kant’s dull dogmas and mechanic laws.

A man is manliest when he wisely knows
    How vain it is to halt and pule and pine;
Whilst under every mystery haply flows
    The finest issue of a love divine.

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