In Everything Give Thanks [poem by Agnes Neale]

[Editor: This poem by Agnes Neale was published in Shadows and Sunbeams (1890).]

In Everything Give Thanks.

In everything give thanks? What, when the daylight
Has faded from the dark and angry skies?
When the fair fabric of our life is shattered,
And round our feet in shapeless ruins lies?

In everything give thanks? What, when the midnight
Has opened wide her jaws of death and gloom,
And closed on all the beauty of our springtime,
When in the dark we fight and find no room?

What, when the love that most we loved and trusted,
Like broken reeds has pierced and wounded sore;
When wide black seas of pain stretch blank and hopeless,
Where all was summer beauty just before?

What, when the King of Gloom, with icy fingers,
Has frozen our beloved in our sight,
When one, so lately full of hope and promise,
Lies in some darkened chamber, still and white?

When all we love has ceased to live and love us,
Has passed for evermore from mortal ken?
When wealth, and hope, and love, and friends desert us,
In everything must we be thankful then?

In everything give thanks. God knows each trial,
He feels each pang we never can express;
He sees us puzzled at life’s endless riddle,
And reads the answer we could never guess.

In everything give thanks. From out the darkness
Shall dawn a brighter day than that now done;
A fairer fabric, built on sure foundations,
Shall shine all glorious in to-morrow’s sun.

A spring more beautiful than last year brought us
Shall next year crown our heads with living bloom,
And in the golden glory we shall wonder
What could so long have wrapped our souls in gloom.

A better love than that which has betrayed us
Shall one day bless us with excess of light;
There shall be no more sea, no waste of blackness,
But golden, glorious day, that knows no night.

In everything give thanks; for life, for dying,
Because our lost beloved are not dead;
They have but changed the seeming for the real;
They do but follow where the Master led.

All that are true, all that have really loved us,
Are waiting for us on the other side;
They did but pass a portal, fair and stately,
To wider living, when we thought they died.

In everything give thanks; because we know not
What is the best, so all things may be best;
In everything give thanks, and He who loves us,
In His great tenderness will rule the rest.

Agnes Neale, Shadows and Sunbeams, Adelaide: Burden & Bonython, 1890, pages 5-7

Editor’s notes:
ken = knowledge, perception, understanding (also means “know”, particularly as used in Scotland)

King of Gloom = Death

Master = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to Jesus or God

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