Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LIVING BY FAITH, by PHOEBE CARY

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LIVING BY FAITH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the way we should tread runs evenly on
Last Line: With our souls, and we shall not be afraid.
Subject(s): Faith

WHEN the way we should tread runs evenly on,
And light as of noonday is over it all,
'T is strange how our feet will turn aside
To paths where we needs must grope and fall;
How we suffer, knowing it all the while,
Some phantom between ourselves and the light,
That shuts in disastrous, strange eclipse,
The very powers of sense and sight.

Yet we live so, all of us, I think,
Hiding whatever of truth we choose,
And deceiving ourselves with a subtilty
That never a soul but our own could use.

We see the love in another's eyes,
Where our own, reflected, is backward sent;
Or we hear a tone, that is not in a tone,
And find a meaning that is not meant.

We put our faith in the help of those
Who never have been a help at all;
And lean on an object that all the while
We know we are holding back from its fall!

When words seem thoughtless, or deed unkind,
We are soothed with the kind intent instead;
And we say of the absent, silent one:
He is faithful -- but he is sick, or dead!

We have loved some dear familiar step,
That once in its fall was firm and clear;
And that household music's sweetest sound
Came fainter every day to our ear;

And then we have talked of the faraway --
Of the springs to come and the years to be,
When the rose should bloom in our dear one's cheek,
And her feet should tread in the meadows free!

We have turned from death, to speak of life,
When we knew that earthly hope was past;
Yet thinking that somehow, God would work
A miracle for us, to the last.

We have seen the bed of a cherished friend
Pushing daily nearer and nearer, till
It stood at the very edge of the grave,
And we looked across and beyond it, still.

Aye, more than this -- we have come and gazed
Down where that dear one's mortal part
Was lowered forever away from our sight;
And we did not die of a broken heart.

Are we blind! nay, we know the world unknown
Is all we would make the present seem;
That our Father keeps, till his own good time,
The things we dream of, and more than we dream.

For we shall not sleep; but we shall be changed;
And when that change at the last is made,
We shall bring realities face to face
With our souls, and we shall not be afraid.

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