I Know Not

Holy God, where are You—Whom I fail to find
Although laboriously I probe and search?
Wrapt in a dense obscurity, I am blind;
And when I pray, I enter in the church.
Doubts in the centre of my spirit dwell
Whose harsh accent my bitter grief revives.
The mollusk is happier far than man; the shell
Oppresses it—and yet within it lives.

Yet life I dare not shorten, since I see—
Mute, sad, mysterious—the narrow grave,
And the certain riddle with a hidden key.
Shadows behind, before me—all about me.
Everywhere shadows, within me and without me—
Even in Your temple with its shadowy nave!


From Poetry, Vol 26. (1925)