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- Poems of Cheer - 2/17 -


And upward wound, the stairs of Faith, right to the Tower of Love!

And when I came forth from that place, I tried the little key - And lo! the door of Happiness swung open, wide and free.

A SONG OF LIFE

In the rapture of life and of living, I lift up my heart and rejoice, And I thank the great Giver for giving The soul of my gladness a voice. In the glow of the glorious weather, In the sweet-scented, sensuous air, My burdens seem light as a feather - They are nothing to bear.

In the strength and the glory of power, In the pride and the pleasure of wealth (For who dares dispute me my dower Of talents and youth-time and health?), I can laugh at the world and its sages - I am greater than seers who are sad, For he is most wise in all ages Who knows how to be glad.

I lift up my eyes to Apollo, The god of the beautiful days, And my spirit soars off like a swallow, And is lost in the light of its rays. Are you troubled and sad? I beseech you Come out of the shadows of strife - Come out in the sun while I teach you The secret of life.

Come out of the world--come above it - Up over its crosses and graves, Though the green earth is fair and I love it, We must love it as masters, not slaves. Come up where the dust never rises - But only the perfume of flowers - And your life shall be glad with surprises Of beautiful hours. Come up where the rare golden wine is Apollo distills in my sight, And your life shall be happy as mine is, And as full of delight.

PRAYER

I do not undertake to say That literal answers come from Heaven, But I know this--that when I pray A comfort, a support is given That helps me rise o'er earthly things As larks soar up on airy wings.

In vain the wise philosopher Points out to me my fabric's flaws, In vain the scientists aver That "all things are controlled by laws." My life has taught me day by day That it availeth much to pray.

I do not stop to reason out The why and how. I do not care, Since I know this, that when I doubt, Life seems a blackness of despair, The world a tomb; and when I trust, Sweet blossoms spring up in the dust.

Since I know in the darkest hour, If I lift up my soul in prayer, Some sympathetic, loving Power Sends hope and comfort to me there. Since balm is sent to ease my pain, What need to argue or explain?

Prayer has a sweet, refining grace, It educates the soul and heart. It lends a lustre to the face, And by its elevating art It gives the mind an inner sight That brings it near the Infinite.

From our gross selves it helps us rise To something which we yet may be. And so I ask not to be wise, If thus my faith is lost to me. Faith, that with angel's voice and touch Says, "Pray, for prayer availeth much."

IN THE LONG RUN

In the long run fame finds the deserving man. The lucky wight may prosper for a day, But in good time true merit leads the van And vain pretence, unnoticed, goes its way. There is no Chance, no Destiny, no Fate, But Fortune smiles on those who work and wait, In the long run.

In the long run all godly sorrow pays, There is no better thing than righteous pain, The sleepless nights, the awful thorn-crowned days, Bring sure reward to tortured soul and brain. Unmeaning joys enervate in the end, But sorrow yields a glorious dividend In the long run.

In the long run all hidden things are known, The eye of truth will penetrate the night, And good or ill, thy secret shall be known, However well 'tis guarded from the light. All the unspoken motives of the breast Are fathomed by the years and stand confess'd In the long run.

In the long run all love is paid by love, Though undervalued by the hosts of earth; The great eternal Government above Keeps strict account and will redeem its worth. Give thy love freely; do not count the cost; So beautiful a thing was never lost In the long run.

AS YOU GO THROUGH LIFE

Don't look for the flaws as you go through life; And even when you find them, It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind, And look for the virtue behind them; For the cloudiest night has a hint of light Somewhere in its shadows hiding; It's better by far to hunt for a star, Than the spots on the sun abiding.

The current of life runs ever away To the bosom of God's great ocean. Don't set your force 'gainst the river's course, And think to alter its motion. Don't waste a curse on the universe, Remember, it lived before you; Don't butt at the storm with your puny form, But bend and let it go o'er you.

The world will never adjust itself To suit your whims to the letter, Some things must go wrong your whole life long, And the sooner you know it the better. It is folly to fight with the Infinite, And go under at last in the wrestle. The wiser man shapes into God's plan, As water shapes into a vessel.

TWO SUNSETS

In the fair morning of his life, When his pure heart lay in his breast, Panting, with all that wild unrest To plunge into the great world's strife

That fills young hearts with mad desire, He saw a sunset. Red and gold The burning billows surged and rolled, And upward tossed their caps of fire.

He looked. And as he looked, the sight Sent from his soul through breast and brain Such intense joy, it hurt like pain. His heart seemed bursting with delight.

So near the Unknown seemed, so close He might have grasped it with his hands He felt his inmost soul expand, As sunlight will expand a rose

One day he heard a singing strain - A human voice, in bird-like trills. He paused, and little rapture-rills Went trickling downward through each vein.


Poems of Cheer - 2/17

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