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


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!