On Understanding

by Patience Worth

Patience Worth

Touched with compassion am I at the hour's agony,
Knowing well the folly of anguish,
Taking in the fulness of the empty phantoms
Which man mourneth o'er.
Like puppets set at playing, doth man set up
His hours, filling them up with mimic word
And meaning, and watching them fall or proceed,
Whiche'er it be, like a babe, who with rude blocks
Buildeth dreams. Man labours with his day,
With no surer hand.
And the thing within him which whispers,
He knoweth not, nor the urge of his hand,
Nor the quickening of certain thoughts and feelings;
Yet with quick lip he speaketh his understanding,
Assuring himself of his surety, while his legs are
Unsteady, and his hands fitful fall at their labour.
He would have himself know that he is a man!
He would speak with a loud voice acclaiming
His knowledge, speaking in a familiar voice
Of God, yet denying Him within his being.
This is man's puppet playing; filling
The hours with mimic words and trickery.
No magic doth he acknowledge, yet lo,-
At the finish of his prating and playing,
The proper wove cloth is flung forth,
And God hath loosed the woof and warp-
Leaving the rack free.
Yet man sayeth he understandeth!

Last updated January 14, 2019