I am Here
Alone I roamed by the ocean’s shore, And watched
The wrestling waves in brawling roar—
Bounding with Thine own restless life.
I saw Thee in Thy angry mood, tossing and foaming Until the very vastness of Thy wrath made me shiver
And turn away in dread from so much violence and strife. And then I walked inland.
A kindly, spreading, sentinel tree
Waved friendly arms to comfort me—
Consoling me with gentler look sublime,
Its leaves and branches swayed in tender lullaby‐rhyme, Conveying a message that I knew was Thine.
Above me, high,
I saw the gaugeless, mystic sky;
And, childlike, in dim valleys I sought to pry out Thy secrets, and to play with Thee.
In vain, alas, did I seek Thee hiding there, Cloud‐robed, foam‐sprayed, leaf‐garlanded— Too elusive for mortal eyes to see or ears to hear. And yet, I knew that Thou wert always near,
As if playing hide‐and‐seek with me,
Receding each time when I almost touched Thee.
I groped for Thee in the maddeningly complex folds Of dark ignorance — as old as time itself is old.
I ceased my search, almost in despair: What hope had I of finding Thee,
Thou Royal, Sly Eluder!
Thou art, I know, everywhere—
Yet Thou seemest nowhere: lost in unplumbed space, Where none may clasp Thee or behold Thy face!
I ceased my fruitless search,
Turned huffily away from Thee:
My ploy was unsuccessful!
Still, still no answer from the wrathful sea,
And only whispers from the friendly tree; Naught but silence from the limitless blue sky— Silence from valleys low and mountains high! Like a hurt child, within the depths of me
I hid and sulked — no longer seeking Thee.
And then, lo! suddenly:
Unheralded, an Unseen Hand
Snatched from my eyes that all‐black band Which had blinded me so long with fold on fold. No longer weary, but filled with strength untold, I stood, and gazed again:
A laughing sea instead of wrathful roars!
A gay, glad world with mystically opening doors! With only mists of dreams between,
Someone beside me stood unseen—
And whispered to me, calm and clear:
“Hello, playmate! I am here!”