A Poem by Irvin W. Underhill

Oh, solitude, where is the sting,
That men ascribe to thee?
Where is the terror in thy mien?
I look, but cannot see.

Where hidest thou, that loneliness
The world pretends to fear?
While lying on thy loving breast
I find my sweetest cheer.

They do not understand thee, no,
They are but knaves or fools,
Or else they must discern in thee
Dame Nature’s queen of schools.

For in thy care, with naught but books,
The bards and saints of old,
Become my friends and to mine ear
Their mystic truths unfold.

When problems and perplexities
Of life becloud my mind,
I know in thee, oh, solitude,
The answer I can find.

When grief and sorrow crowd my heart
To breaking, with their fears
Within thy arms, oh, solitude,
I find relief in tears.

And when I weary of the world’s
Deceits and cares and strife,
I find in thee sweet rest and peace
And vigorous new life.

My garden never is complete
Without a blooming rose,
Nor is my life, oh, solitude,
Without thy sweet repose.