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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Fate, or God?

By Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)

[From Poems. Complete Edition. 1882.]

BEYOND the record of all eldest things,

Beyond the rule and regions of past time,

From out Antiquity’s hoary-headed rime,

Looms the dread phantom of a King of kings:

Round His vast brows the glittering circlet clings

Of a thrice royal crown; behind Him climb,

O’er Atlantean limbs and breast sublime,

The sombre splendors of mysterious wings;

Deep calms of measureless power, in awful state,

Gird and uphold Him; a miraculous rod,

To heal or smite, arms His infallible hands:

Known in all ages, worshipped in all lands,

Doubt names this half-embodied mystery—Fate,

While Faith, with lowliest reverence, whispers—God!