Last of All (Poem by Gilbert Parker)

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Last of All
By Gilbert Parker

Wave, walls to seaward,
Storm-clouds to leeward,
Beaten and blown by the winds of the West,
Sail we encumbered
Past isles unnumbered,
But never to greet the green island of Rest.

Lips that now tremble,
Do you dissemble
When you deny that the human is best?
Love, the evangel,
Finds the Archangel — 
Is that a truth when this may be a jest?

Star-drifts that glimmer
Dimmer and dimmer,
What do ye know of my weal or my woe?
Was I born under
The sun or the thunder?
What do I come from, and where do I go?

Rest, shall it ever
Come?  Is endeavour
Still a vain twining and twisting of cords?
Is faith but treason;
Reason, unreason,
But a mechanical weaving of words?

What is the token,
Ever unbroken,
Swept down the spaces of querulous years, — 
Weeping or singing — 
That the Beginning
Of all things is with us, and sees us, and hears?

What is the token?
Bruised and broken,
Bend I my life to a blossoming rod?
Shall then the worst things
Come to the first things,
Finding the best of all, last of all, God?

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