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The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
page 3 of 36 (08%)
certain, it is not written in any other book, nor is it to be found
among the ancient lore of the East. And yet I have never felt as if it
were my own. It was a gift. It was sent to me; and it seemed as if I
knew the Giver, though His name was not spoken.

The year had been full of sickness and sorrow. Every day brought
trouble. Every night was tormented with pain. They are very long--those
nights when one lies awake, and hears the laboring heart pumping
wearily at its task, and watches for the morning, not knowing whether
it will ever dawn. They are not nights of fear; for the thought of
death grows strangely familiar when you have lived with it for a year.
Besides, after a time you come to feel like a soldier who has been long
standing still under fire; any change would be a relief. But they are
lonely nights; they are very heavy nights. And their heaviest burden is

You must face the thought that your work in the world may be almost
ended, but you know that it is not nearly finished.

You have not solved the problems that perplexed you. You have not
reached the goal that you aimed at. You have not accomplished the great
task that you set for yourself. You are still on the way; and perhaps
your journey must end now,--nowhere,--in the dark.

Well, it was in one of these long, lonely nights that this story came
to me. I had studied and loved the curious tales of the Three Wise Men
of the East as they are told in the "Golden Legend" of Jacobus de
Voragine and other mediaeval books. But of the Fourth Wise Man I had
never heard until that night. Then I saw him distinctly, moving through
the shadows in a little circle of light. His countenance was as clear
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