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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Minot Judson Savage (1841–1918)


O WHY are darkness and thick cloud

Wrapped close for ever round the throne of God?

Why is our pathway still in mystery trod?

None answers, though we call aloud.

The seedlet of the rose,

While still beneath the ground,

Think you it ever knows

The mystery profound

Of its own power of birth and bloom,

Until it springs above its tomb?

The caterpillar crawls

Its mean life in the dust,

Or hangs upon the walls

A dead aurelian crust:

Think you the larva ever knew

Its gold-winged flight before it flew?

When from the port of Spain

Columbus sailed away,

And down the sinking main

Moved toward the setting day,

Could any words have made him see

The new worlds that were yet to be?

The boy with laugh and play

Fills out his little plan,

Still lisping day by day

Of how he’ll be a man;

But can you to his childish brain

Make aught of coming manhood plain?

Let heaven be just above us,

Let God be e’er so nigh,

Yet howso’er he love us,

And howe’er much we cry,

There is no speech that can make clear

The thing “that doth not yet appear.”

’Tis not that God loves mystery:

The things beyond us we can never know,

Until up to their lofty height we grow,

And finite grasps infinity.