Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SURE WITNESS, by ALICE CARY



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THE SURE WITNESS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The solemn wood had spread
Last Line: "bears the sure witness he is everywhere."
Subject(s): God


THE solemn wood had spread
Shadows around my head;
"Curtains they are," I said,
"Hung dim and still about the house of prayer."
Softly among the limbs,
Turning the leaves of hymns,
I heard the winds, and asked if God were there.
No voice replied, but while I listening stood,
Sweet peace made holy hushes through the wood.

With ruddy, open hand,
I saw the wild rose stand
Beside the green gate of the summer hills;
And pulling at her dress,
I cried, "Sweet hermitess,
Hast thou beheld Him who the dew distills?"
No voice replied, but while I listening bent,
Her gracious beauty made my heart content.

The moon in splendor shone;
"She walketh heaven alone,
And seeth all things," to myself I mused;
"Hast thou beheld Him, then,
Who hides Himself from men
In that great power through nature interfused?"
No speech made answer, and no sign appeared,
But in the silence I was soothed and cheered.

Waking one time, strange awe
Thrilling my soul, I saw
A kingly splendor round about the night;
Such cunning work the hand
Of spinner never planned, --
The finest wool may not be washed so white.
"Hast thou come out of heaven?" I asked; and lo!
The snow was all the answer of the snow.

Then my heart said, "Give o'er;
Question no more, no more!
The wind, the snow-storm, the wild hermit flower,
The illuminated air,
The pleasure after prayer,
Proclaim the unoriginated Power!
The mystery that hides Him here and there,
Bears the sure witness He is everywhere."





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