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FAITH, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Dear, gentle faith! On the sheltered porch
Last Line: That bloom in the smile of god!
Subject(s): Faith; Belief; Creed

DEAR, gentle Faith! on the sheltered porch
She used to sit by the hour,
As still and white as the whitest rose
That graced the vines of her bower.
She watched the motes in the sun, the bees,
And the glad birds come and go;
The butterflies, and the children bright
That chased them to and fro.
She saw them happy, one and all,
And she said that God was good;
Though she never had walked on the sweet green grass,
And, alas! she never would!

She saw the happy maid fulfill
Her woman's destiny;
The trusting bride on the lover's arm,
And the babe on the mother's knee.
She folded meek, her empty hands,
And she blest them, all and each,
While the treasure that she coveted
Was put beyond her reach.

"Yea, if God wills it so," she said,
"Even so 't is mine to live.
What to withhold He knoweth best,
As well as what to give!"

At last, for her, the very sight
Of the good, fair earth was done.
She could not reach the porch, nor see
The grass, nor the motes in the sun;
Yet still her smile of sweet content
Made heavenly all the place,
As if they sat about her bed
Who see the Father's face;
For to his will she bent her head,
As bends to the rain the rose.
"We know not what is best," she said;
"We only know He knows!"

Poor, crippled Faith! glad, happy Faith!
Even in affliction blest;
For she made the cross we thought so hard
A sweet support and rest.
Wise, trusting Faith! when she gave her hand
To One we could not see,
She told us all she was happier
Than we could ever be.
And we knew she thought how her feet, that ne'er
On the good, green earth had trod,
Would walk at last on the lily-beds
That bloom in the smile of God!

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