Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1589. The Eternal Justice
By Anne Reeve Aldrich
THANK God that shall judge my soul, not man!
    I marvel when they say,
    “Think of that awful Day
No pitying fellow-sinner’s eyes shall scan
    With tolerance thy soul,        5
    But His who knows the whole,
The God whom all men own is wholly just.”
    Hold thou that last word dear,
    And live untouched by fear.
He knows with what strange fires He mixed this dust.        10
    The heritage of race,
    The circumstance and place
Which make us what we are—were from His hand,
    That left us, faint of voice,
    Small margin for a choice.        15
He gave, I took: shall I not fearless stand?
    Hereditary bent
    That hedges in intent
He knows, be sure, the God who shaped thy brain.
    He loves the souls He made;        20
    He knows His own hand laid
On each the mark of some ancestral stain.
    Not souls severely white,
    But groping for more light,
Are what Eternal Justice here demands.        25
    Fear not: He made thee dust;
    Cling to that sweet word—“Just;”
All ’s well with thee if thou art in just hands.


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