Thursday, January 01, 2009

the gate of the year

The Gate of the Year

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied, "Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"

So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.

So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention.

"God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature. In Him
All time hath full provision.
Then rest; until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of life's stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise,
God's thought around His creatures
Our minds shall fill."

by Minnie Haskins (1875-1957) from a poem of hers called "God Knows", in a collection, The Desert, published in 1908.

(Note: the last stanza of the poem was provided by an anonymous reader to the Line upon line blog [where it was published in January 2008]. Thank you! I'm not sure if there should be stanza breaks.)

Minnie Louise Haskins (1875 - 1957)


I first saw this poem on Just Thinking. Nancy tells us the story of the poem and its author here.

Related: "At the Gate of the Year"

This poem became widely known when King George VI quoted part of it in his 1939 Christmas message. Listen to King George VI's Christmas message, 1939 (audio).


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