Henry Alford

(1810-1871 / England)

A Doubt.


I know not how the right may be:--
But I give thanks whene'er I see
Down in the green slopes of the West
Old Glastonbury's towered crest.

I know not how the right may be:--
But I have oft had joy to see,
By play of chance my road beside,
The Cross on which our Saviour died.

I know not how the right may be:
But I loved once a tall elm--tree,
Because between its boughs on high
That Cross was opened on the sky.

I know not how the right may be:--
But I have shed strange tears to see,
Passing an unknown town at night,
In some warm chamber full of light,
A mother and two children fair,
Kneeling with lifted hands at prayer.

I know not how it is--my boast
Of Reason seems to dwindle down;
And my mind seems down--argued most
By forced conclusions not her own.

I know not how it is--unless
Weakness and strength are near allied;
And joys which most the spirit bless
Are furthest off from earthly pride.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010
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