Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
II. Love’s Nature
Lizzie M. Little (d. 1909)
O LIFE! that mystery that no man knows,
And all men ask: the Arab from his sands,
The Cæsar’s self, lifting imperial hands,
And the lone dweller where the lotus blows;
O’er trackless tropics, and o’er silent snows,        5
She dumbly broods, that Sphinx of all the lands;
And if she answers, no man understands,
And no cry breaks the blank of her repose.
But a new form rose once upon my pain,
With grave, sad lips, but in the eyes a smile        10
Of deepest meaning dawning sweet and slow,
Lighting to service, and no more in vain
I ask of Life, “What art thou?”—as erewhile—
For since Love holds my hand I seem to know!

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