Cordula's Web. NOAA. Thorns. Barents Sea, Russia.
NOAA Photo Library: fish1833. Thorns. Barents See, Russia. Aleksey Zuyev. HiRes. Gallery 20
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Doubt

Helen Hunt Jackson

They bade me cast the thing away,
They pointed to my hands all bleeding,
They listened not to all my pleading;
The thing I meant I could not say;
I knew that I should rue the day
If once I cast that thing away.

I grasped it firm, and bore the pain;
The thorny husks I stripped and scattered;
If I could reach its heart, what mattered
If other men saw not my gain,
Or even if I should be slain?
I knew the risks; I chose the pain.

O, had I cast that thing away,
I had not found what most I cherish,
A faith without which I should perish,
The faith which, like a kernel, lay
Hid in the husks which on that day
My instinct would not throw away!


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