From the earth and from the sky,
And to thee the hills and waters
And the stars reply.
But a soul-sufficing answer
Hath no outward origin;
More than Nature's many voices
May be heard within.
Even as the great Augustine
Questioned earth and sea and sky,
And the dusty tomes of learning
And old poesy.
But his earnest spirit needed
More than outward Nature taught;
More than blest the poet's vision
Or the sage's thought.
Only in the gathered silence
Of a calm and waiting frame,
Light and wisdom as from Heaven
To the seeker came.
Not to ease and aimless quiet
Doth that inward answer tend,
But to works of love and duty
As our being's end;
Not to idle dreams and trances,
Length of face, and solemn tone,
But to Faith, in daily striving
And performance shown.
Earnest toil and strong endeavor
Of a spirit which within
Wrestles with familiar evil
And besetting sin;
And without, with