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Poem by Florence Earle Coates


Is the promise of day merely darkness,
⁠     Is sleep full fruition for strife,
Is the grave compensation for sorrow,
⁠     Is Nirvana the answer to life?

Is there no unobscured revelation
⁠     The evil of Earth to explain,
No word of compassion to soften
     ⁠The terrible riddle of pain?

In cold, imperturbable silence
⁠     The planets revolve in their course,
And Nature is deaf to entreaty,
⁠     Untroubled by doubt or remorse;

The snows, far outspread on her mountains,
⁠     Dissolve, nor her mandate gainsay,
And the cloud is consumed at her bidding,
⁠     And vanisheth quickly away.

And man?shall he fade like the cloud-wreath,
⁠     And waste, unresisting, like snow,
Nor learn of the place whence he journeyed,
     ⁠Nor guess whereunto he must go?

Alas! after nights spent in searching,
⁠     After days and years, what can he tell,
What imagine of mysteries higher
⁠     Than heaven, and deeper than hell?

At end of the difficult journey,
⁠     With restless inquiries so rife,
He knows what his spirit discovered
⁠     At the shadowy threshold of life;

He feels what the tenderness beaming
⁠     From eyes bending, wistful, above,
Revealed to his heart when an infant,
     ⁠The care, unforgetting, of love!

The hawk toward the south her wings stretcheth,
⁠     The eagle ascendeth the sky;
They know not the Guide who conducts them,
⁠     Yet onward, unerring, they fly:

In the desert the dew falleth gently,
⁠     In the desert where no man is;
And the herb wisteth not who hath sent it,
⁠     But the herb and the dew,both are His!

Florence Earle Coates

Florence Earle Coates's other poems:
  1. Before the Hour
  2. Wouldst Thou Learn?
  3. Sappho
  4. Song (For Me the Jasmine Buds Unfold)
  5. Victi Resurgunt

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