In the Night

20 Oct 2023 | Believers | 0 comments

‘Honest Doubt’?
You say, but with no touch of scorn,
         Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes
         Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.
I know not: one indeed I knew
         In many a subtle question versed,
         Who touch’d a jarring lyre at first,
But ever strove to make it true:
Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
         At last he beat his music out.
         There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.
He fought his doubts and gather’d strength,
         He would not make his judgment blind,
         He faced the spectres of the mind
And laid them: thus he came at length
To find a stronger faith his own;
         And Power was with him in the night,
         Which makes the darkness and the light,
And dwells not in the light alone,
But in the darkness and the cloud,
         As over Sinaï’s peaks of old,
         While Israel made their gods of gold,
Altho’ the trumpet blew so loud.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92), In Memoriam A.H.H. Obit 1833:96

Notes from the Compiler

Andy Moss writes: 'If you know how to find the Pole Star on a clear night, you will always know which way is north. It tells you the truth, so you can find your way. The normal way to find it is through the Big Dipper - the Plough. It looks like a saucepan with a bent handle. As the earth turns, the saucepan does too, it can be flat, it can hang on the wall. At times, it is a giant question mark hanging in the sky: but still pointing the way to the truth. The way to the truth can be through the question mark.' In 1850 Tennyson succeeded William Wordsworth as Poet Laureate. He was popular in the nation at large, and his admirers included Queen Victoria.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *