Poetry of Kansas

That Mystery.

WHEN e'er I try to reason out
      The life that is and is to be,
The only thing I bring about
      Is reason's cold philosophy.
The cradle stands upon the shore
      Of that dark sea, whose restless wave
Lies close behind, and just before
      Is tossing up against the grave.
We drift out from that dim unknown
      Up to the shore of life, and then,
Ere long, we shape a bark, and soon
      Drift out upon that sea again.
The world is but a tiny isle
      Wherein to make a moment's stay__
We pause and fret a little while
      And then pursue our onward way.
We come, we go, who knoweth more ?
      From what dim region were we borne ?
And who shall say what other shore
      Our bark may touch ere its return ?

__Albert Bigelow Paine.

Rhymes by Two Friends
Albert Bigelow Paine & William Allen White
(Fort Scott: M. L. Izor and Son. 1893)
Pages 70-71
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October 6, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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