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The World's Best Poetry, Volume 4

The Higher Life

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Author: Bliss Carman
Published: 1904
Language: English
Wordcount: 83,569 / 266 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.8
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,493
Added to site: 2004.07.06
mnybks.net#: 8755
Genre: Poetry
Excerpt

Am not thyself in converse with thyself,
For nothing worthy proving can be proven
Nor yet disproven. Wherefore be thou wise,
Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith!
She reels not in the storm of warring words,
She brightens at the clash of 'Yes' and 'No,'
She sees the best that glimmers through the worst,
She feels the sun is hid but for a night,
She spies the summer through the winter bud,
She tastes the fruit before the blossom falls,
She hears the lark within the songless egg,
She finds the fountain where they wailed 'Mirage!'"

This illustrates Tennyson's mental attitude. If all who plume themselves upon their doubts would put themselves into this posture of mind, they would find themselves in possession of a very substantial faith.

Tennyson has touched with light more than one problem of the soul. The little stanza beginning

"Flower in the crannied wall"

has shown

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