The One Unutterable Need
I pass along the busy street,
Scanning the faces that I meet,
Striving to read, as best I may,
What Life has writ on living clay;
And often, all unconsciously,
They open out their hearts to me:
Then, dumb with unshed tears, I read
The one unutterable need.
For some discordant, loud, and clear,
Only the din of traffic hear;
And some pass on with heavy tread,
And joyless eyes, and downcast head:
“We look not up, for live we must,
And find out living in the dust.”
And some –poor souls! –are walled about
In self-reared tenements of doubt;
And some are not entirely sad,
Yet never have been wholly glad.
Joy is the universal need,
Unknown and unexpressed indeed.
Unto each inmost soul a Voice.
Sweet, still, and small, would say, “Rejoice!
Look up, look up! the sky is blue:
Beauty and Hope were born for you!”
The brightest star that ever shone:
The best and noblest duty done:
The fairest flower that ever glowed:
The sweetest song that ever flowed:
The Poet’s, Painter’s highest Art
Are Thoughts of God’s Eternal Heart:
He casts them forth that men may know
Something of Heaven’s joy below.
When smiles on human faces shine,
There souls are nearest the Divine,
And light is cast, where saints have trod
The Ways of Happiness to God.
Helen K. Watts