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My Soul And I
by [?]

Now standing apart with God and me
Thou art weakness all,
Gazing vainly after the things to be
Through Death’s dread wall.

But never for this, never for this
Was thy being lent;
For the craven’s fear is but selfishness,
Like his merriment.

Folly and Fear are sisters twain
One closing her eyes.
The other peopling the dark inane
With spectral lies.

Know well, my soul, God’s hand controls
Whate’er thou fearest;
Round Him in calmest music rolls
Whate’er thou Nearest.

What to thee is shadow, to Him is day,
And the end He knoweth,
And not on a blind and aimless way
The spirit goeth.

Man sees no future,–a phantom show
Is alone before him;
Past Time is dead, and the grasses grow,
And flowers bloom o’er him.

Nothing before, nothing behind;
The steps of Faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath.

The Present, the Present is all thou hast
For thy sure possessing;
Like the patriarch’s angel hold it fast
Till it gives its blessing.

Why fear the night? why shrink from Death;
That phantom wan?
There is nothing in heaven or earth beneath
Save God and man.

Peopling the shadows we turn from Him
And from one another;
All is spectral and vague and dim
Save God and our brother!

Like warp and woof all destinies
Are woven fast,
Linked in sympathy like the keys
Of an organ vast.

Pluck one thread, and the web ye mar;
Break but one
Of a thousand keys, and the paining jar
Through all will run.

O restless spirit! wherefore strain
Beyond thy sphere?
Heaven and hell, with their joy and pain,
Are now and here.

Back to thyself is measured well
All thou hast given;
Thy neighbor’s wrong is thy present hell,
His bliss, thy heaven.

And in life, in death, in dark and light,
All are in God’s care
Sound the black abyss, pierce the deep of night,
And He is there!

All which is real now remaineth,
And fadeth never
The hand which upholds it now sustaineth
The soul forever.

Leaning on Him, make with reverent meekness
His own thy will,
And with strength from Him shall thy utter weakness
Life’s task fulfil;

And that cloud itself, which now before thee
Lies dark in view,
Shall with beams of light from the inner glory
Be stricken through.

And like meadow mist through autumn’s dawn
Uprolling thin,
Its thickest folds when about thee drawn
Let sunlight in.

Then of what is to be, and of what is done,
Why queriest thou?
The past and the time to be are one,
And both are now!