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[266] The deep voice answered to my own,
     Smiting my selfish prayers away;
“To-morrow is with God alone,
     And man hath but to-day.

Say not, thy fond, vain heart within,
     The Father's arm shall still be wide,
When from these pleasant ways of sin
     Thou turn'st at eventide.

“Cast thyself down,” the tempter saith,
     “And angels shall thy feet upbear.”
He bids thee make a lie of faith,
     And blasphemy of prayer.

Though God be good and free be heaven,
     No force divine can love compel;
And, though the song of sins forgiven
     May sound through lowest hell,

The sweet persuasion of His voice
     Respects thy sanctity of will.
He giveth day: thou hast thy choice
     To walk in darkness still;

As one who, turning from the light,
     Watches his own gray shadow fall,
Doubting, upon his path of night,
     If there be day at all!

No word of doom may shut thee out,
     No wind of wrath may downward whirl,
No swords of fire keep watch about
     The open gates of pearl;

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