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[142]
Slowly his calm blue eyes. “I thank thee, son;
But all my days are good, and none are ill.”

Wondering thereat, the preacher spake again,
‘God give thee happy life.’ The old man smiled,
‘I never am unhappy.’

Tauler laid His hand upon the stranger's coarse gray sleeve:
“Tell me, O father, what thy strange words mean.
Surely man's days are evil, and his life
Sad as the grave it leads to.” “Nay, my son,
Our times are in God's hands, and all our days
Are as our needs; for shadow as for sun,
For cold as heat, for want as wealth, alike
Our thanks are due, since that is best which is;
And that which is not, sharing not His life,
Is evil only as devoid of good.
And for the happiness of which I spake,
I find it in submission to his will,
And calm trust in the holy Trinity
Of Knowledge, Goodness, and Almighty Power.”

Silently wondering, for a little space,
Stood the great preacher; then he spake as one
Who, suddenly grappling with a haunting thought
Which long has followed, whispering through the dark
Strange terrors, drags it, shrieking, into light:
‘What if God's will consign thee hence to Hell?’

‘Then,’ said the stranger, cheerily, “be it so.
What Hell may be I know not; this I know,—

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