At last an end of all I hoped and feared!
Muttered the hermit through his elfin beard.
Then what art thou? the evil whisper whirred.
I doubt me sorely if the hermit heard.
To all God’s questions never a word he said,
But simply shook his venerable head.
God sent all plagues; he laughed and heeded not,
Till people took him for an idiot.
God sent all joys; he only laughed again,
Till people certified him as insane.
But somehow all his fellow-lunatics
Began to imitate his silly tricks.
And stranger still, their prospects so enlarged
That one by one the patients were discharged.
God asked him by what right he interfered;
He only laughed into his elfin beard.
When God revealed Himself to mortal prayer
He gave a fatal opening to Voltaire.
Our hermit had dispensed with Sinai’s thunder,
But on the other hand he made no blunder;
He knew (no doubt) that any axiom
Would furnish bricks to build some Donkeydom.
But!— all who urged that hermit to confess
Caught the infection of his happiness.
I would it were my fate to dree his weird;
I think that I will grow an elfin beard.