Faith in God [poem by Henry Kendall]

[Editor: This poem by Henry Kendall was published in Leaves from Australian Forests (1869).]

Faith in God.

Have faith in God. For whosoever lists
To calm conviction in these days of strife,
Will learn that in this steadfast stand exists
The scholarship severe of human life —

This face to face with Doubt! I know how strong
His thews must be who fights, and falls, and bears,
By sleepless nights, and vigils lone and long,
And many a woeful wraith of wrestling prayers;

Yet trust in Him! not in an old man throned
With thunders on an everlasting cloud,
But in that awful Entity, enzoned
By no wild wraths nor bitter homage loud.

When from the summit of some sudden steep
Of Speculation you have strength to turn
To things too boundless for the broken sweep
Of finite comprehension, wait and learn

That God hath been “His own interpreter”
From first to last; — so you will understand
The tribe who best succeed when men most err
To suck through fogs the fatness of the land.

One thing is surer than the autumn tints
We saw last week in yonder river bend,
That all our poor expression helps and hints,
However vaguely, to the solemn end

That God is Truth. And if our dim ideal
Fall short of fact — so short that we must weep,
Why shape specific sorrows, though the real
Be not the song which erewhile made us sleep?

Remember, Truth draws upward! This, to us,
Of steady happiness should be a cause
Beyond the differential calculus,
Or Kant’s dull dogmas and mechanic laws.

A man is manliest when he wisely knows
How vain it is to halt, and pule, and pine,
Whilst under every mystery haply flows
The finest issue of a love divine.

Henry Kendall, Leaves from Australian Forests, Melbourne: George Robertson, 1869, pages 125-126

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