Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Twilight Hours.
V. “Is It So, O Christ in Heaven?”
By Sarah Williams (“Sadie”) (1841–1868)
 
(From “Questionings”)

IS it so, O Christ in heaven, that the souls we loved so well
Must remain in pain eternal, must abide in endless hell?
And our love avail them nothing, even Thine avail no more?
Is there nothing that can reach them,—nothing bridge the chasm o’er?—
“I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now.”        5
 
Is it so, O Christ in heaven, that the Antichrist must reign?
Still assuming shapes Protean, dying but to live again?
Waging war on God Almighty, by destroying feeble man,
With the heathen for a rear-guard, and the learnèd for the van?—
“I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now.”        10
 
Is it so, O Christ in heaven, that the highest suffer most?
That the strongest wander farthest, and more hopelessly are lost?
That the mark of rank in nature is capacity for pain,
And the anguish of the singer makes the sweetness of the strain?—
“I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now.”        15
 
Is it so, O Christ in heaven, that whichever way we go
Walls of darkness must surround us, things we would but cannot know?
That the Infinite must bound us, as a temple veil unrent,
While the Finite ever wearies, so that none attain content?—
“I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now.”        20
 
Is it so, O Christ in heaven, that the fulness yet to come
Is so glorious and so perfect, that to know would strike us dumb?
That, if only for a moment, we could pierce beyond the sky
With these poor dim eyes of mortals, we should just see God, and die?—
“I have many things to show you, but ye cannot bear them now.”        25
 
 
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