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John Greenleaf Whittier


The same old baffling questions! O my friend,

I cannot answer them. In vain I send

My soul into the dark, where never burn

The lamps of science, nor the natural light

Of Reason's sun and stars! I cannot learn

Their great and solemn meanings, nor discern

The awful secrets of the eyes which turn

Evermore on us through the day and night

With silent challenge and a dumb demand,

Proffering the riddles of the dread unknown,

Like the calm Sphinxes, with their eyes of stone,

Questioning the centuries from their veils of sand!

I have no answer for myself or thee,

Save that I learned beside my mother's knee;

"All is of God that is, and is to be;

And God is good." Let this suffice us still,

Resting in childlike trust upon His will

Who moves to His great ends unthwarted by the ill.