They bade me cast the thing away,
They pointed to my hands all bleeding,
They listened not to all my pleading;
The thing I meant I could not say;
I knew that I should rue the day
If once I cast that thing away.
I grasped it firm, and bore the pain;
The thorny husks I stripped and scattered;
If I could reach its heart, what mattered
If other men saw not my gain,
Or even if I should be slain?
I knew the risks; I chose the pain.
O, had I cast that thing away,
I had not found what most I cherish,
A faith without which I should perish,–
The faith which, like a kernel, lay
Hid in the husks which on that day
My instinct would not throw away!