Who fathoms the eternal thought
Who fathoms the eternal thought. John Greenleaf Whittier* (1807-1892).
From ‘The Eternal Goodness’, published in The Independent, a weekly periodical (New York, 16 March 1865), and then in Whittier’s The Tent on the Beach, and Other Poems (Boston, 1867) (Rogal, 2010, p. 47). The poem, which has 22 stanzas, begins as a criticism of those whom Whittier knew and whom he admired, but who held strongly to doctrine:
I trace your lines of argument;
Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent
And fears a doubt as wrong.
But still my human hands are weak
To hold your iron creeds:
Against the words ye bid me speak
My heart within me pleads.
Cite this article
If you have a valid subscription to Dictionary of Hymnology, please log inlog in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.