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[254] That suffering is not His revenge
     Upon His creatures weak and frail,
Sent on a pathway new and strange
     With feet that wander and with eyes that fail:

That, o'er the crucible of pain,
     Watches the tender eye of Love
The slow transmuting of the chain
     Whose links are iron below to gold above

Ah me! we doubt the shining skies,
     Seen through our shadows of offence,
And drown with our poor childish cries
     The cradle-hymn of kindly Providence.

And still we love the evil cause,
     And of the just effect complain:
We tread upon life's broken laws,
     And murmur at our self-inflicted pain;

We turn us from the light, and find
     Our spectral shapes before us thrown,
As they who leave the sun behind
     Walk in the shadows of themselves alone.

And scarce by will or strength of ours
     We set our faces to the day;
Weak, wavering, blind, the Eternal Powers
     Alone can turn us from ourselves away.

Our weakness is the strength of sin,
     But love must needs be stronger far,
Outreaching all and gathering in
     The erring spirit and the wandering star.

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Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (1)

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