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[261] Not for sport of mind and force
     Hast Thou made Thy universe,
But as atmosphere and zone
     Of Thy loving heart alone.
Man, who walketh in a show,
     Sees before him, to and fro,
Shadow and illusion go;
     All things flow and fluctuate,
Now contract and now dilate.
     In the welter of this sea,
Nothing stable is but Thee;
     In this whirl of swooning trance,
Thou alone art permanence;
     All without Thee only seems,
All beside is choice of dreams.
     Never yet in darkest mood
Doubted I that Thou wast good,
     Nor mistook my will for fate,
Pain of sin for heavenly hate,—
     Never dreamed the gates of pearl
Rise from out the burning marl,
     Or that good can only live
Of the bad conservative,
     And through counterpoise of hell
Heaven alone be possible.

For myself alone I doubt;
     All is well, I know, without;
I alone the beauty mar,
     I alone the music jar.
Yet, with hands by evil stained,
     And an ear by discord pained,
I am groping for the keys
     Of the heavenly harmonies;

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