How happened this, how happened that;
Reasons of sequence passing well,
By process none may cavil at.
If this be true, then that must be;
And so on, which seems very plain;
But what rules human destiny
We ask and cannot ascertain.
The deeds we do, the words we say,
May serve our purpose, or may not;
Some soul may be a wreck to-day
Through some slight word, long since forgot.
"Mistakes," says Science; yet the wise,
Whose far gaze tracks the rolling spheres,
Grope blindly through life's mysteries,
And weep, with others, human tears.
Philosophy cannot forecast
The workings of one human breast;
Nor trace the springs of actions past;
Life is a riddle at the best.
We plan what we shall be and do,
While bars of fate around us close.
That strain or stroke may not break through;
We plan and purpose, but___who knows?
__Ellen P. Allerton.
Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)