Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LIFE'S MYSTERIES, by ALICE CARY

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LIFE'S MYSTERIES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Round and round the wheel doth run
Last Line: Thou wilt have mercy on us all!
Subject(s): Love

ROUND and round the wheel doth run,
And now doth rise, and now doth fall;
How many lives we live in one,
And how much less than one, in all!

The past as present as to-day --
How strange, how wonderful! it seems
A player playing in a play,
A dreamer dreaming that he dreams!

But when the mind through devious glooms
Drifts onward to the dark amain,
Her wand stern Conscience reassumes,
And holds us to ourselves again.

Vague reminiscences come back
Of things we seem, in part, to have known,
And Fancy pieces what they lack
With shreds and colors all her own.

Fancy, whose wing so high can soar,
Whose vision hath so broad a glance,
We feel sometimes as if no more
Amenable to change and chance.

And yet, one tiny thread being broke --
One idol taken from our hands,
The eternal hills roll up like smoke,
The earth's foundations shake like sands!

Ah! how the colder pulse still starts
To think of that one hour sublime,
We hugged heaven down into our hearts,
And clutched eternity in time!

When love's dear eyes first looked in ours,
When love's dear brows were strange to frowns,
When all the stars were burning flowers
That we might pluck and wear for crowns.

We cannot choose but cry and cry --
Oh, that its joys we might repeat!
When just its mutability
Made all the sweetness of it sweet.

Close to the precipice's brink
We press, look down, and, while we quail
From the bad thought we dare not think,
Lift curiously the awful vail.

We do the thing we would not do --
Our wills being set against our wills,
And suffer o'er and o'er anew
The penalty our peace that kills.

Great God, we know not what we know
Or what we are, or are to be!
We only trust we cannot go
Through sin's disgrace outside of thee.

And trust that though we are driven in
And forced upon the name to call
At last, by very strength of sin,
Thou wilt have mercy on us all!

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