Come unto yourself a while,
Be deaf to outer cares;
Ask not who wins, who falls, who rages,
Or what each doubtful sign presages,
Or what face treachery wears.
Soon you must return to tasks
That sicken and appal:
The calumnies will never cease,
Look only to the sign of peace,
The Cross upon the wall.
This is that sole instrument
That measures every chart;
This square and level overrules
The subtle calculus of fools
By a celestial Art.
It is not said we shall succeed,
Save as His Cross prevails:
The good we choose and mean to do
Prospers if He wills it to,
And if not, then it fails.
Nor is failure our disgrace:
By ways we cannot know
He keeps the merit in his hand,
And suddenly, as no-one planned,
Behold the kingdom grow!
by James McAuley
Michael Rose sent this poem to Life Ministries following the passage of the same-sex marriage bill, saying, “I thought this poem may appeal to you if you are also seeking some consolation. … Not to lose heart. God can bring good from evil. … James McAuley, one of Australia’s greatest poets, put into words the spirit which motivates us in times of great difficulty …”