Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MAN-TEST, by EDWIN MARKHAM



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MAN-TEST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When in the dim beginning of the years
Last Line: "with all in life to win or all to lose."
Variant Title(s): The Testing
Subject(s): Mankind; Religion; Human Race; Theology


When, in the dim beginning of the years,
God mixed in man the raptures and the tears,
And scattered through his brain the starry stuff,
He said, "Behold! Yet this is not enough,
For I must test his spirit to make sure
That he can dare the vision and endure.

"I will withdraw My face,
Veil Me in shadow for a certain space,
And leave behind only a broken clue,
A crevice where the glory glimmers through,
Some whisper from the sky,
Some footprint in the road to track Me by.

"I will leave man to make the fateful guess,
Will leave him torn between the no and yes,
Leave him unresting till he rests in Me,
Drawn upward by the choice that makes him free—
Leave him in tragic loneliness to choose,
With all in life to win or all to lose."





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