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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

To a Doubter

By Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton (1849–1937)

[Born in Kentville, N. S., 1849. Died in Boston, Mass., 1937.]

I CANNOT say “Believe” to thee

Whose lips from thought’s clear springs have drunk.

The questions of the age have sunk

Deep in thy quivering soul, I see.

For I should hear thee rightly say,

“Whate’er is true, thy well-turned speech

Doth not the mind’s recesses reach

Nor light the spirit’s hidden way.”

Thy soul for certainty is sick,

While they who wrangle over forms,

Untroubled by faith’s fiercer storms,

Feed well on sweets of rhetoric.

I see thee like a long-caged bird,

Thou beat’st thy bars with broken wing,

And flutterest, feebly echoing

The far-off music thou hast heard.

Oblivion tempts thee, yet be wise,

Walk on awhile in storm and shade;

These ghosts that haunt thy feet may fade;

Thought hath its cock-crow and sunrise.

Perhaps the unseen plan shall prove

More than thy noblest longings crave;

Thy life may sweep beyond the grave

Into a universe of love,

Where doubt may cease, wrong turn to right,

God’s diverse ways be reconciled,

And thou so long His orphan child

Meet Him upon the hills of light.

Acadian Legends and Lyrics. 1889.