Here you will find the Poem In Quest of poet John Greenleaf Whittier
Have I not voyaged, friend beloved, with thee On the great waters of the unsounded sea, Momently listening with suspended oar For the low rote of waves upon a shore Changeless as heaven, where never fog-cloud drifts Over its windless wood, nor mirage lifts The steadfast hills; where never birds of doubt Sing to mislead, and every dream dies out, And the dark riddles which perplex us here In the sharp solvent of its light are clear? Thou knowest how vain our quest; how, soon or late, The baffling tides and circles of debate Swept back our bark unto its starting-place, Where, looking forth upon the blank, gray space, And round about us seeing, with sad eyes, The same old difficult hills and cloud-cold skies, We said: 'This outward search availeth not To find Him. He is farther than we thought, Or, haply, nearer. To this very spot Whereon we wait, this commonplace of home, As to the well of Jacob, He may come And tell us all things.' As I listened there, Through the expectant silences of prayer, Somewhat I seemed to hear, which hath to me Been hope, strength, comfort, and I give it thee. 'The riddle of the world is understood Only by him who feels that God is good, As only he can feel who makes his love The ladder of his faith, and climbs above On th' rounds of his best instincts; draws no line Between mere human goodness and divine, But, judging God by what in him is best, With a child's trust leans on a Father's breast, And hears unmoved the old creeds babble still Of kingly power and dread caprice of will, Chary of blessing, prodigal of curse, The pitiless doomsman of the universe. Can Hatred ask for love? Can Selfishness Invite to self-denial? Is He less Than man in kindly dealing? Can He break His own great law of fatherhood, forsake And curse His children? Not for earth and heaven Can separate tables of the law be given. No rule can bind which He himself denies; The truths of time are not eternal lies.' So heard I; and the chaos round me spread To light and order grew; and, 'Lord,' I said, 'Our sins are our tormentors, worst of all Felt in distrustful shame that dares not call Upon Thee as our Father. We have set A strange god up, but Thou remainest yet. All that I feel of pity Thou hast known Before I was; my best is all Thy own. From Thy great heart of goodness mine but drew Wishes and prayers; but Thou, O Lord, wilt do, In Thy own time, by ways I cannot see, All that I feel when I am nearest Thee!'