Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
I. “What, many times I musing asked”
By Richard Chenevix Trench (1807–1886)
WHAT, many times I musing asked, is man,
        If grief and care
Keep far from him? he knows not what he can,
        What cannot bear.
He, till the fire had proved him, doth remain        5
        The main part dross:
To lack the loving discipline of pain
        Were endless loss.
Yet when my Lord did ask me on what side
        I were content        10
The grief, whereby I must be purified,
        To me were sent,
As each imagined anguish did appear,
        Each withering bliss,
Before my soul, I cried, “Oh! spare me here,        15
        Oh no, not this!”—
Like one that having need of, deep within,
        The surgeon’s knife,
Would hardly bear that it should graze the skin,
        Though for his life.        20
Till He at last, who best doth understand
        Both what we need,
And what can bear, did take my case in hand,
        Nor crying heed.

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