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.
 
III. Faith: Hope: Love: Service
Doubt and Faith
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
 
From “In Memoriam,” XCV.

YOU say, but with no touch of scorn,
  Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes
  Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.
 
I know not: one indeed I knew        5
  In many a subtle question versed,
  Who touched a jarring lyre at first,
But ever strove to make it true:
 
Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
  At last he beat his music out.        10
  There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.
 
He fought his doubts and gathered strength,
  He would not make his judgment blind,
  He faced the spectres of the mind        15
And laid them: thus he came at length
 
To find a stronger faith his own;
  And Power was with him in the night,
  Which makes the darkness and the light,
And dwells not in the light alone,        20
 
But in the darkness and the cloud,
  As over Sinai’s peaks of old,
  While Israel made their gods of gold,
Although the trumpet blew so loud.
 
 
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