The dumb creation

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        Deal kindly with those speechless ones,
            That throng our gladsome earth;
        Say not the bounteous gift of life
            Alone is nothing worth.
        What though with mournful memories
            They sigh not for the past?
        What though their ever joyous Now
            No future overcast?
        No aspirations fill their breast
            With longings undefined;
        They live, they love, and they are blest,
            For what they seek they find.
        They see no mystery in the stars,
            No wonder in the plain;
        And Life's enigma wakes in them
            No questions dark and vain.
        To them earth is a final home,
            A bright and blest abode;
        Their lives unconsciously flow on
            In harmony with God.
        To this fair world our human hearts
            Their hopes and longings bring,
        And o'er its beauty and its bloom
            Their own dark shadows fling.
        Between the future and the past
            In wild unrest we stand;
        And ever as our feet advance,
            Retreats the promised land.
        And though Love, Fame, and Wealth and Power,
            Bind in their gilded bond,
        We pine to grasp the unattained--
            The something still beyond.
        And, beating on their prison bars,
            Our spirits ask more room,
        And with unanswered questionings,
            They pierce beyond the tomb.
        Then say thou not, oh doubtful heart,
            There is no life to come;
        That in some tearless, cloudless land,
            Thou shalt not find thy home.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.