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 “Poor fool! with hope still mocking his despair,
He wanders, shrieking on the midnight air
For human pity and for Christian prayer.
“Saints strike him dumb! Our Holy Mother hath
No prayer for him who, sinning unto death,
Burns always in the furnace of God's wrath!”
Thus to the baptized pagan's cruel lie,
Lending new horror to that mournful cry,
The voyager listens, making no reply.
Dim burns the boat-lamp: shadows deepen round,
From giant trees with snake-like creepers wound,
And the black water glides without a sound.
But in the traveller's heart a secret sense
Of nature plastic to benign intents,
And an eternal good in Providence,
Lifts to the starry calm of heaven his eyes;
And lo! rebuking all earth's ominous cries,
The Cross of pardon lights the tropic skies!
‘Father of all!’ he urges his strong plea,
“Thou lovest all: Thy erring child may be
Lost to himself, but never lost to Thee!
All souls are Thine; the wings of morning bear
None from that Presence which is everywhere,
Nor hell itself can hide, for Thou art there.
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