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Archive for the ‘ReligiousInspirational’ Category

Let others cheer the winning man,
There’s one I hold worth while;
‘Tis he who does the best he can
Then loses with a smile.
Beaten he is, but not to stay
Down with the rank and file;
That man will some other day,
Who loses with a smile.

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I said, “Let me walk in the fields.”
He said, “No; walk in the town.”
I said, “There are no flowers there.”
He said, “No flowers, but a crown.”

I said, “But the skies are black,
There is nothing but noise and din;”
And he wept as he sent me back;
“There is more,” he said, “there is sin.”

I said, “But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun.”
He answered, “Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone.”

I said, “I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say.”
He answered, “Choose tonight
If I am to miss you, or they.”

I pleaded for time to be given.
He said, “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide.”

I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”

Then into his hand went mine;
And into my heart came he;
And I walk in a light divine,
The path I had feared to see.

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“Look now abroad–another race has fill’d
Those populous borders–wide the wood recedes,
And town shoots up, and fertile realms are till’d;
The land is full of harvests and green meads.”
The breaking waves dash’d high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss’d;

And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o’er,
When a band of exiles moor’d their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;–
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea:
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free!

The ocean eagle soar’d
From his nest by the white wave’s foam
And the rocking pines of the forest roar’d–
This was their welcome home!

There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim band:–
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood’s land?

There was woman’s fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love’s truth;
There was manhood’s brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?–
They sought a faith’s pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod.
They have left unstained, what there they found–
Freedom to worship God.

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This is the Gospel of Labor –
Ring it, ye bells of the kirk –
The Lord of love came down from above
To live with the men who work.

This is the rose that he planted
Here in the thorn-cursed soil –
Heaven is blessed with perfect rest;
But the blessing of earth is toil.

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The sea was breaking at my feet,
And looking out across the tide,
Where placid waves and heaven meet,
I thought me of the Other Side.

For on the beach on which I stood
Were wastes of sands, and wash, and roar,
Low clouds, and gloom, and solitude,
And wrecks, and ruins – nothing more.

“O, tell me if beyond the sea
A heavenly port there is!” I cried,
And back the echoes laughingly
“There is! there is!” replied.

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How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do;
Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, ’twere all alike
As if we had them not.

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The common problem – yours, mine, everyone’s –
Is not to fancy what were fair in life
Provided it could be; but, finding first
What may be, then find how to make it fair
Up to our means – a very different thing!
My business is not to remake myself
But make the absolute best of what God made.

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“Write to Sardis,” saith the Lord,
And write what he declares,
He whose Spirit and whose word,
Upholds the seven stars:
“All thy works and ways I search,
Find thy zeal and love decayed:
Thou art called a living church,
But thou art cold and dead.”

“Watch, remember, seek, and strive,
Exert thy former pains;
Let thy timely care revive,
And strengthen what remains:
Cleanse thine heart, thy works amend,
Former times to mind recall,
Lest my sudden stroke descend,
And smite thee once for all.” 

“Yet I remember now in thee
A few that are upright:
these my Father’s face shall see,
And walk with me in white,
When in judgment I appear,
They for mine shall be confessed;
Let my faithful servants hear;
And woe be to the rest!”

(Rev.3:1-6)

 

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The prayer of Jabez, too, should be our prayer:
“Keep me from evil, that it may not grieve.”
How hard the sight of wrong and ill to bear,
When we cannot the sufferers relieve!
The child of sorrow, he for others’ woe,
As if it were his own, did deeply feel;
Though he had naught of riches to bestow,
Nor power their wrongs and miseries to heal.
God heard his prayer, and answered his request;
And by his sympathy did help impart
Unto the poor; the suffering, and oppressed,
That healed their wounds and robbed them of their smart;
Nor suffered cruel deeds, nor words unkind,
To grieve his heart, or rankle in his mind.

 

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O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee. 

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air –
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there? 

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars! –
The drift of pinions, would we harken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors. 

The angels keep their ancient places; –
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-spendoured thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry, – and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross, 

You, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry – clinging Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water
Not of Gennesareth, but Thames!

 

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