Presumption

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Whenever I am prone to doubt or wonder—
      I check myself, and say, “That mighty One
   Who made the solar system cannot blunder—
      And for the best all things are being done.”
   Who set the stars on their eternal courses
      Has fashioned this strange earth by some sure plan.
   Bow low, bow low to those majestic forces,
      Nor dare to doubt their wisdom, puny man.

   You cannot put one little star in motion,
      You cannot shape one single forest leaf,
   Nor fling a mountain up, nor sink an ocean,
      Presumptuous pigmy, large with unbelief.
   You cannot bring one dawn of regal splendour,
      Nor bid the day to shadowy twilight fall,
   Nor send the pale moon forth with radiance tender—
      And dare you doubt the One who has done all?

   “So much is wrong, there is such pain—such sinning.”
      Yet look again—behold how much is right!
   And He who formed the world from its beginning
      Knows how to guide it upward to the light.
   Your task, O man, is not to carp and cavil
      At God’s achievements, but with purpose strong
   To cling to good, and turn away from evil.
      That is the way to help the world along.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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