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Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

In Memoriam A. H. H.: 55. The wish, that of the living whol


The wish, that of the living whole
No life may fail beyond the grave,
Derives it not from what we have
The likest God within the soul?
Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;
That I, considering everywhere
Her secret meaning in her deeds,
And finding that of fifty seeds
She often brings but one to bear,

I falter where I firmly trod,
And falling with my weight of cares
Upon the great world's altar-stairs
That slope thro' darkness up to God,

I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
And gather dust and chaff, and call
To what I feel is Lord of all,
And faintly trust the larger hope.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Bronze Star - 5,986 Points Frank Avon (8/30/2014 11:59:00 PM)

    How apt this poem still is, for those of us who hold on to our faith in spite of so much, in our lifetime, that has boded against it; e.g., the Great Depression, Hitler, Mussolini, Tito, Hiroshima, Stalin, the India/Pakistani conflict, the Berlin Wall, Korea, Vietnam, segregation, Kent State, the assassinations of the 60s, South Africa, the hostages in Iran, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Ireland, Biafra, Watts, US inner cities, Watergate, Idi Amin, the Challenger, Chernobyl, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, 9/11, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, al-Qaeda, Hamas, global warming, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes, AIDS, ebola, cancer, starvation, Ukraine, ISIS, Ferguson (MO) , the tragic, untimely deaths of ones we loved.... and this is only a partial list, a mere sampling. Indeed, we stretch lame hands of faith and faintly trust the larger hope. (Report) Reply

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