Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1591. The Heavens Are Our Riddle
By Herbert Bates
THE HEAVENS are our riddle; and the sea,
Forested earth, the grassy rustling plain,
Snows, rains, and thunders. Yea, and even we
Before ourselves stand ominous. In vain!
The stars still march their way, the sea still rolls,        5
The forests wave, the plain drinks in the sun,
And we stand silent, naked,—with tremulous, souls,—
Before our unsolved selves. We pray to one
Whose hand should help us. But we hear no voice;
Skies clear and darken; the days pale and pass,        10
Nor any bids us weep or bids rejoice.
Only the wind sobs in the shrivelling grass,—
Only the wind,—and we with upward eyes
Expectant of the silence of the skies.


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