Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
IV. Comfort and Cheer
Compensation
Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813–1892)
 
TEARS wash away the atoms in the eye
    That smarted for a day;
Rain-clouds that spoiled the splendors of the sky
    The fields with flowers array.
 
No chamber of pain but has some hidden door        5
    That promises release;
No solitude so drear but yields its store
    Of thought and inward peace.
 
No night so wild but brings the constant sun
    With love and power untold;        10
No time so dark but through its woof there run
    Some blessèd threads of gold.
 
And through the long and storm-tost centuries burn
    In changing calm and strife
The Pharos-lights of truth, where’er we turn,—        15
    The unquenched lamps of life.
 
O Love supreme! O Providence divine!
    What self-adjusting springs
Of law and life, what even scales, are thine,
    What sure-returning wings        20
 
Of hopes and joys, that flit like birds away,
    When chilling autumn blows,
But come again, long ere the buds of May
    Their rosy lips unclose!
 
What wondrous play of mood and accident        25
    Through shifting days and years;
What fresh returns of vigor overspent
    In feverish dreams and fears!
 
What wholesome air of conscience and of thought
    When doubts and forms oppress;        30
What vistas opening to the gates we sought
    Beyond the wilderness;
 
Beyond the narrow cells, where self-involved,
    Like chrysalids, we wait
The unknown births, the mysteries unsolved        35
    Of death and change and fate!
 
O Light divine! we need no fuller test
    That all is ordered well;
We know enough to trust that all is best
    Where love and wisdom dwell.        40
 
 
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