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The Search (Poem)

I wandered in a solitary way,
And found no place of rest:
A barren lot was mine from day to day,
A hunger of the breast.

I scanned the records of our human kind,
And lo! in conscious thought,
And deeds—unconscious thinking—did I find
One Heart with mine, that sought:

One Heart, that knew a Greatness not its own,
And served, in poor blind fear:
Or raised Ideals, and set them on a throne,
Thinking to find Him near:

One Heart, that darkly saw His Face, and tried,
In fleeting mortal things,
To picture the immortal—wild and wide,
Uncouth imaginings!

"If these child-men so strove for God," I said,
"And we so smile today,
Shall not another race, when we are dead,
Deem ours as blind a way?
"Says every age, 'Behold True God!' and lo,
A phantom of the brain!
Is not Man always, thinking God to know,
Flung on himself again?"

I sought Him in the shadow of the creeds:
"Aye hereunto," I said,
"Turn hungry souls, for all that nature needs,
And find their Living Bread.

"God shall be known in this Most Holy Place,
Where prayers are long and loud:"
Then in I pressed, to look upon His Face,
And saw—a wrangling crowd.

"O childish Soul—O foolish Soul, and blind,
To deem that, human-wise,
He needs earth-temples. Go, thy God to find,
Roofed only by His skies!"

I climbed the hills: in field and wood I strayed,
And sought the Face of God,
And found a Science sneering, "Soul's decayed!
Man's but a breathing clod!"

"I will go forth, my fellow-men to seek,
That know their God," I cried:
"I see His glow on many a comrade's cheek:
Whence are they satisfied?"

Upon the world's great highway, beggar-wise,
I crept from soul to soul,
Saw God's reflection shine in many eyes,
And prayed a passing dole.

"O hungry Brother, we have nought," they said,
"By God alone we live:
He is Our Father: look to Him for bread,
And He will surely give."

I cried aloud in passionate despair,
"I seek, and cannot find!"
"Dost thou, indeed, not see Him anywhere?
Poor Brother, thou art blind!"

Then to a dreary, desert-waste I fled,
My very heart a stone,
My famished Soul despairing now of bread,
And terribly alone.

"In utter silence, utter dark, I fall,
And Soul and Self must die;
Too helpless now to see or hear, or call,
As nothingness am I!

"But oh—Thou Greatness—All-transcending Love—
I know Thee as Thou art!
My Rock beneath, my cloudless Sky above,
My Soul, my Strength, my Heart!"

So passed I in the power of that new birth,
And saw Him everywhere:
Never an atom on the grey old earth
But mighty witness bare!

I looked upon a Brother's, Sister's, face,
And saw the deep Divine,
And, thrilling, felt that primal Soul embrace
The God who rose in mine.

It is not lonely, climbing up the height:
See—a worn pathway, trod
By every living Soul that loves the Light,
Urged by the Inmost God!

Dull Heart—one Truth there is that thou must grasp:
Blind eyes—one Star to see:
Slow, nerveless hands—one priceless Pearl to clasp:
God in all else and thee!

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