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Short poem

Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919)

We Two

              1God’s will is – the bud of the rose for your hair,
              2    The ring for your hand and the pearl for your breast;
              3God's will is – the mirror that makes you look fair.
              4    No wonder you whisper: "God's will is the best."

              5But what if God's will were the famine, the flood?
              6    And were God's will the coffin shut down in your face?
              7And were God's will the worm in the fold of the bud,
              8    Instead of the picture, the light, and the lace?

              9Were God's will the arrow that flieth by night,
            10    Were God's will the pestilence walking by day,
            11The clod in the valley, the rock on the height –
            12    I fancy "God's will" would be harder to say.

            13God's will is – your own will. What honor have you
            14    For having your own will, awake or asleep?
            15Who praises the lily for keeping the dew,
            16    When the dew is so sweet for the lily to keep?

            17God's will unto me is not music or wine.
            18    With helpless reproaching, with desolate tears
            19God's will I resist, for God's will is divine;
            20    And I – shall be dust to the end of my years.

            21God's will is – not mine. Yet one night I shall lie
            22    Very still at his feet, where the stars may not shine.
            23"Lo! I am well pleased" I shall hear from the sky;
            24    Because – it is God's will I do, and not mine.


10] Psalms 91:5-6

12] Job 21:33

23] Matthew 3:17

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Palace-Burner: The Selected Poetry of Sarah Piatt, ed. Paula Bennett (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001): 51-52.
Publication date note: The Independent, 1874
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/4/15

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt