Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
IV. Sabbath: Worship: Creed
Peace
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879)
 
  IS this the peace of God, this strange sweet calm?
The weary day is at its zenith still,
  Yet ’t is as if beside some cool, clear rill,
Through shadowy stillness rose an evening psalm,
And all the noise of life were hushed away,        5
And tranquil gladness reigned with gently soothing sway.
 
  It was not so just now. I turned aside
With aching head, and heart most sorely bowed;
Around me cares and griefs in crushing crowd,
  While inly rose the sense, in swelling tide,        10
Of weakness, insufficiency, and sin,
And fear, and gloom, and doubt in mighty flood rolled in.
 
  That rushing flood I had no power to meet,
Nor power to flee: my present, future, past,
Myself, my sorrow, and my sin I cast        15
  In utter helplessness at Jesu’s feet:
Then bent me to the storm, if such his will.
He saw the winds and waves, and whispered, “Peace, be still!”
 
  And there was calm! O Saviour, I have proved
That thou to help and save art really near:        20
How else this quiet rest from grief and fear
  And all distress? The cross is not removed,
I must go forth to bear it as before,
But, leaning on thine arm, I dread its weight no more.
 
  Is it indeed thy peace? I have not tried        25
To analyze my faith, dissect my trust,
Or measure if belief be full and just,
  And therefore claim thy peace. But thou hast died,
I know that this is true for me,
And, knowing it, I come, and cast my all on thee.        30
 
  It is not that I feel less weak, but thou
Wilt be my strength; it is not that I see
Less sin, but more of pardoning love with thee,
  And all-sufficient grace. Enough! and now
All fluttering thought is stilled, I only rest,        35
And feel that thou art near, and know that I am blest.
 
 
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