O Who Shall Say He Knows The Folds

O, who shall say he knows the folds
Which veil another’s inmost heart,-
The hopes, thoughts, wishes, which it holds,
In which he never bore a part?
That hidden world no eye can see,-
O, who shall pierce its mystery?

There may be hope as pure, as bright,
As ever sought eternity,-
There may be light,-clear, heavenly light,
Where all seems cold and dark to thee;
And when thy spirit mourns the dust,
There may be trust,-delightful trust.

Go, bend to God, and leave to Him
The mystery of thy brother’s heart,
Nor vainly think his faith is dim,
Because in thine it hath no part;
He, too, is mortal,-and, like thee,
Would soar to immortality.

And if in duty’s hallowed sphere,
Like Christ, he meekly, humbly bends,-
With hands unstained, and conscience clear,
With life’s temptations still contends,-
O, leave him that unbroken rest,
The peace that shrines a virtuous breast!

But if his thoughts and hopes should err,
Still view him with a gentle eye,-
Remembering doubt, and change, and fear,
Are woven in man’s destiny;
And when the clouds are passed away,
That truth shall dawn with brightening day.