Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
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George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
 
‘Not as I will’
By Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–1885)
 
BLINDFOLDED and alone I stand
With unknown thresholds on each hand;
The darkness deepens as I grope,
Afraid to fear, afraid to hope:
Yet this one thing I learn to know        5
Each day more surely as I go,
That doors are opened, ways are made,
Burdens are lifted or are laid,
By some great law unseen and still,
Unfathomed purpose to fulfil,        10
      “Not as I will.”
 
Blindfolded and alone I wait;
Loss seems too bitter, gain too late;
Too heavy burdens in the load
And too few helpers on the road;        15
And joy is weak and grief is strong,
And years and days so long, so long:
Yet this one thing I learn to know
Each day more surely as I go,
That I am glad the good and ill        20
By changeless law are ordered still,
      “Not as I will.”
 
“Not as I will:” the sound grows sweet
Each time my lips the words repeat.
“Not as I will:” the darkness feels        25
More safe than light when this thought steals
Like whispered voice to calm and bless
All unrest and all loneliness.
“Not as I will,” because the One
Who loved us first and best has gone        30
Before us on the road, and still
For us must all his love fulfil,
      “Not as we will.”
 
 
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