Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ultima Veritas

Recently – yesterday, actually – I ran across a poem by the 19th century Congregational pastor Washington Gladden. It voices the kind of what I would call reverent agnosticism I think we have to have on some issues. There are times when we just don't know and things must be boiled down to the absolute basics. I like this poem very much.

In the bitter waves of woe, beaten and tossed about
By the sullen winds that blow from the desolate shores of doubt –
When the anchors that faith had cast are dragging in the gale,
I am quietly holding fast to the things that cannot fail:

I know that right is right; that it is not good to lie;
That love is better than spite, and a neighbour than a spy;
I know that passion needs the leash of a sober mind;
I know that generous deeds some sure reward will find;

That the rulers must obey; that the givers shall increase;
That duty lights the way for the beautiful feet of Peace; —
In the darkest night of the year, when the stars have all gone out,
That courage is better than fear, that faith is truer than doubt;

And fierce though the fiends may fight and long though the angels hide,
I know that Truth and Right have the universe on their side;
And that somewhere, beyond the stars, is a Love that is better than fate;
When the night unlocks her bars, I shall see Him, and I will wait.

1 comment:

  1. I like it very much too, Daddy. I think I will put it among my few choice texts in my quote-book.
    Thank you.