Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
894. Not Knowing
 
By Mary Gardiner Brainard
 
 
Not knowing the things that shall befall me there.—ACTS XX. 22.
 
 
I KNOW not what will befall me: God hangs a mist o’er my eyes;
And thus, each step of my onward path, He makes new scenes arise,
And every joy He sends to me comes like a sweet surprise.
 
I see not a step before me as I tread on another year;
But I ’ve left the past in God’s keeping,—the future His mercy shall clear,        5
And what looks dark in the distance may brighten as I draw near.
 
For perhaps the dreaded future is less bitter than I think;
The Lord may sweeten the waters before I stoop to drink;
Or, if Marah must be Marah, He will stand beside its brink.
 
It may be He keeps waiting, for the coming of my feet,        10
Some gift of such rare blessedness, some joy so strangely sweet,
That my lips shall only tremble with the thanks they cannot speak.
 
O restful, blissful ignorance! ’t is blessëd not to know;
It keeps me still in those mighty arms which will not let me go,
And lulls my weariness to rest on the bosom that loves me so.        15
 
So I go on not knowing,—I would not if I might;
I would rather walk in the dark with God than go alone in the light;
I would rather walk with Him by faith than walk alone by sight.
 
My heart shrinks back from trials which the future may disclose,
Yet I never had sorrow but what the dear Lord chose;        20
So I send the coming tears back with the whispered word, “He knows.”
 

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