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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Verse Musings on Nature, Faith, and Freedom (1889). II. Freedom. I. Fate and Man

John Owen (1836–1896)

MEANING well, men compass ill,

Scheming ill, they good fulfil;

Such is Fate’s ironic will,

Such her metamorphic skill,

From one substance to distil,

Balm to quicken—bane to kill.

Children-like, our laps we load

With flowers culled upon life’s road;

These we bear to Fate’s abode,

Nothing witting, but her mode

To distil, from gifts bestowed,

Drugs that solace or corrode.

Fate is sightless, Fate is free,

Yet her limits knoweth she;

Thus, though purblind mortals, we

All her methods cannot see,

Yet we know supreme is He

Who hath made Fate blind and free.