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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
“If This Were Faith”
By Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)
 
From ‘Poems and Ballads’

GOD, if this were enough,
That I see things bare to the buff
And up to the buttocks in mire;
That I ask nor hope nor hire,
Not in the husk,        5
Nor dawn beyond the dusk,
Nor life beyond death:
God, if this were faith?
 
Having felt thy wind in my face
Spit sorrow and disgrace,        10
Having seen thine evil doom
In Golgotha and Khartoum,
And the brutes, the work of thine hands,
Fill with injustice lands
And stain with blood the sea:        15
If still in my veins the glee
Of the black night and the sun
And the lost battle, run;
      If, an adept,
The iniquitous lists I still accept        20
With joy, and joy to endure and be withstood,
And still to battle and perish for a dream of good:
    God, if that were enough?
 
    If to feel, in the ink of the slough
    And the sink of the mire,        25
    Veins of glory and fire
Run through and transpierce and transpire,
And a secret purpose of glory in every part,
And the answering glory of battle fill my heart;
To thrill with the joy of girded men        30
To go on for ever and fail and go on again,
And be mauled to the earth and arise,
And contend for the shade of a word and a thing not seen with the eyes:
With the half of a broken hope for a pillow at night
That somehow the right is the right        35
And the smooth shall bloom from the rough:
    Lord, if that were enough?
 
 
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