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Of an intolerable knowledge pressed her down
With weary wishes to know more, or less.
For all she knew was like a broken word
Inscribed upon the fragment of a ring;
And all she heard was like a troubled strain
Preluding music that is never played.

Then she remembered in her sad unrest,
The Master's parting word, “a path to

And turned again to seek him with her grief.
She found him in a hollow of the hills
Beside a little spring that issued forth
From broken rocks and filled an emerald cup
With never-failing water. There he sat,
With waiting looks that welcomed her afar,
And smiling lips that gently bade her speak.
“I know that thou hast heard, my child,” he

said, “For all the wonder of the world of sound Is written in thy face. But hast thou heard, Among the many voices, one of peace ? And is thy heart that hears the secret thoughts, The hidden wishes and desires of men, Content with hearing ? Art thou satisfied ?"

“Nay, Master,” she replied, “thou knowest

well That I am not at rest, nor have I heard The voice of perfect peace. For all I hear Brings me disquiet and a troubled mind. The evil voices in the souls of men, Voices of rage and cruelty and fear Have not dismayed me; for I have perceived The voices of the good, the kind, the true Are more in number and excel in strength. There is more love than hate, more hope than

fear, In the mixed murmur of the human heart. But while I listen to the mighty sound, One thing torments me, and destroys my rest And presses me with dull, unceasing pain. For out of all the minds of all mankind, And through all voices of unuttered thought, There rises evermore a questioning voice That asks the meaning of this widespread

world And finds no answer, - asks, and asks again, With patient pleading or with wild complaint, But wakens no response, except the sound Of other questions, wandering to and fro,

From other souls in doubt. And this one

voice Rises above all others that I hear, And binds them up together into one, Until the mingled murmur of the world Sounds through the secret places of my heart Like an eternal question, vainly asked, By every human soul that thinks and feels, And vainly echoed back, without reply. This is the heaviness that weighs me down, And this the pain that will not let me rest. Therefore, dear Master, shut the gates again, And let me live in silence as before ! Or else, and if there is indeed a gate Unopened yet, through which I might receive An answer in the voice of perfect peace –

She ceased; and in her upward faltering tone The question echoed.

Then the Master said: There is another gate, not yet unclosed. For through the outer portals of the ear Only the outer voice of things may pass; And through the middle doorways of the mind Only the half-formed voice of human thoughts,

Uncertain and perplexed with endless doubt;
But through the inmost gate the spirit hears
The voice of that great Spirit who is Life.
Beneath the tones of living things, He breathes
A deeper tone than ever ear hath heard ;
And underneath the troubled thoughts of men,
He thinks forever, and His thought is peace.
Behold, I touch thee once again, my child :
The third and last of those three hidden gates
That closed around thy soul and shut thee in,
Falls open now, and thou shalt truly hear.”

Then Vera heard. The spiritual gate
Was opened softly as a full-blown flower
Unfolds its heart to welcome in the dawn,
And on her listening face there shone a light
Of still amazement and completed joy
In the full gift of hearing.

What she heard
I cannot tell; nor could she ever tell
In words; because all human words are vain ;
There is no speech nor language to express
The secret messages of God, that make
Perpetual music in the hearing heart.
Below the voice of waters, and above

The wandering voice of winds, and underneath The song of birds, and through all varying

tones Of living things that fill the world with sound, God spoke to her, and all she heard was peace.

So when the Master questioned, “Dost thou

hear ?" She answered, Yea, at last I hear.” And

then He asked her once again, “ What hearest thou ? What means the voice of Life?” She answered,

" Love ! For love is life, and they who do not love Are not alive. But every soul that loves, Lives in the heart of God and hears Him


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