Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1163. The Quiet Pilgrim
Isaiah XXXVIII. 15
By Edith Matilda Thomas
WHEN on my soul in nakedness
His swift, avertless hand did press,
Then I stood still, nor cried aloud,
Nor murmured low in ashes bowed;
And, since my woe is utterless,        5
To supreme quiet I am vowed;
Afar from me be moan and tears,—
I shall go softly all my years.
Whenso my quick, light-sandaled feet
Bring me where Joys and Pleasures meet,        10
I mingle with their throng at will;
They know me not an alien still,
Since neither words nor ways unsweet
Of storëd bitterness I spill;
Youth shuns me not, nor gladness fears,—        15
For I go softly all my years.
Whenso I come where Griefs convene,
And in my ear their voice is keen,
They know me not, as on I glide,
That with Arch Sorrow I abide.        20
They haggard are, and drooped of mien,
And round their brows have cypress tied:
Such shows I leave to light Grief’s peers,—
I shall go softly all my years.
Yea, softly! heart of hearts unknown.        25
Silence hath speech that passeth moan,
More piercing-keen than breathëd cries
To such as heed, made sorrow-wise.
But save this voice without a tone,
That runs before me to the skies,        30
And rings above thy ringing spheres,
Lord, I go softly all my years!


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