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

By Sonnets and Other Poems, Chiefly Religious (1890). IV. Eternity

Joseph John Murphy (1827–1894)

ETERNITY is not, as men believe,

Before and after us, an endless line.

No; ’tis a circle, infinitely great,

All the circumference with creatures thronged:

God at the centre dwells, beholding all.

And, as we move in this eternal round

The finite portion which alone we see,

Behind us, is the Past; what lies before

We call the Future. But to Him who dwells

Far in the centre, equally remote

From every point of the circumference,

Both are alike the Future and the Past.