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Poem by Alice Cary


January


THE year has lost its leaves again,
The world looks old and grim;
God folds His robe of glory thus,
That we may see but Him.

And all His stormy messengers,
That come with whirlwind breath,
Beat out our chaff of vanity,
And leave the grains of faith.

We will not feel, while summer waits
Her rich delights to share,
What sinners, miserably bad,--
How weak and poor we are.

We read through fields of speckled flowers
As if we did not know
Our Father made them beautiful,
Because He loves us so.

We hold His splendors in our hands
As if we held the dust,
And deal His judgment, as if man
Than God could be more just.

We seek, in prayers and penances,
To do the martyr's part,
Remembering not, the promises
Are to the pure in heart.

From evil and forbidden things,
Some good we think to win,
And to the last analysis
Experiment with sin.

We seek no oil in summer time
Our winter lamp to trim,
But strive to bring God down to us,
More than to rise to Him.

And when that He is nearest, most
Our weak complaints we raise,
Lacking the wisdom to perceive
The mystery of His ways.

For, when drawn closest to Himself,
Then least His love we mark;
The very wings that shelter us
From peril, make it dark.

Sometimes He takes His hands from us,
When storms the loudest blow,
That we may learn how weak, alone,--
How strong in Him, we grow.

Through the cross iron of our free will
And fate, we plead for light,
As if God gave us not enough
To do our work aright.

We will not see, but madly take
The wrong and crooked path,
And in our own hearts light the fires
Of a consuming wrath.

The fashion of His Providence
Our way is so above,
We serve Him most who take the most
Of His exhaustless love.

We serve Him in the good we do,
The blessings we embrace,
Not lighting farthing candles for
The palace of His grace.

He has no need of our poor aid
His purpose to pursue;
'Tis for our pleasure, not for His,
That we His work must do.

Then blow, O wild winds, as ye list,
And let the world look grim,--
God folds His robe of glory thus
That we may see but Him. 



Alice Cary


Alice Cary's other poems:
  1. April
  2. A Dream


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Robert Bridges January ("Cold is the winter day, misty and dark")
  • John Payne January ("THIS is the bitter birth-month of the year")

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