Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
II. Prayer and Aspiration
Prayer and Answer
Oliver Huckel (1864–1940)
 
O GOD, I cannot walk the Way,—
The thorns, the thirst, the darkness,
And bleeding feet and aching heart!
I hear the songs and revels of the throng,—
They sneer upon my downcast face with scorn,—        5
Yet, O my God, I must and shall walk with Thee!
 
O God, I cannot take the Truth!
Far easier honeyed hopes and falsehoods fair,
But Truth,—the Truth is stern and strong and awful.
It ploughs my soul with ploughshares flaming hot,—        10
Yet give me Truth. I must have Truth, O God!
 
O God, I cannot live the Life,—
The flinging all to death that life may come;
The surging of Thy Spirit in my heart
In fire and flame will all consume me,—        15
Yet, O my God, I cannot live without Thee!
 
And as I agonized in dust and shame
With tears and sighs in all the bitter prayer,
I felt, as ’t were, an arm that stole around me,
And raised me to my feet.        20
And at the touch, hope blossomed in my heart,
And new-found strength in flood-tides thrilled and throbbed
 
Through soul and limbs. I looked to see….
O tender lordly Face!
It was Himself,—the Way, the Truth, the Life!        25
 
 
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