|ELCore.Net > Poetry > Catholic Poets > Poems of Alice Meynell|
|The Two Questions|
“A riddling world!” one cried. |
“If pangs must be, would God that they were sent
To the impure, the cruel, and passed aside
The holy innocent!”
But I, “Ah no, no, no! |
Not the clean heart transpierced; not tears that fall
For a child’s agony; nor a martyr’s woe;
Not these, not these appal.
“Not docile motherhood, |
Dutiful, frequent, closed in all distress;
Not shedding of the unoffending blood;
Not little joy grown less;
“Not all-benign old age |
With dotage mocked; not gallantry that faints
And still pursues; not the vile heritage
Of sin’s disease in saints;
“Not these defeat the mind. |
For great is that abjection, and august
That irony. Submissive we shall find
A splendour in that dust.
“Not these puzzle the will; |
Not these the yet unanswered question urge.
But the unjust stricken; but the hands that kill
Lopped; but the merited scourge;
“The sensualist at fast; |
The merciless felled; the liar in his snares.
The cowardice of my judgment sees, aghast,
The flail, the chaff, the tares.”
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Created April 10, 2001; not revised.