A Question

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AH, who can tell which guide were best
To truth long sought, but unattained —
The early faith, or late unrest?
What age has earned, or boyhood gained?
When down life's vista as we gaze,
Where vanished youth's remembered gleam,
The radiance of the unconscious days —
The dream that knew not 't was a dream —
The time ere yet the shades of doubt
Before our steps crept lengthening on,
And morn and noon spread all about
Their warm and flagrant benison —
Was this a vision of the mind
That comes but once and disappears?
And can our riper wisdom find
A clearer path in after years?
The lore of philosophic age,
The legendary creed of youth —
Say which should trace upon life's page
The book-mark of the surest truth?
Ah, question not. The unconscious life
That leaps to its spontaneous deed
Alone can harmonize the strife
Between the impulse and the deed.
Through dark and light — through change on change
The planet-soul is pledged to move,
Steeped all along its spinning range
In sunshine born of thought and love.

© Christopher Pearse Cranch