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When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, tho my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
'And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.'



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If I were told that I must die to-morrow,
That the next sun

Which sinks should bear me past all fear and sorrow

For any one,

All the fight fought, all the short journey through,
What should I do?

I do not think that I should shrink or falter,
But just go on,

Doing my work, nor change, nor seek to alter
Aught that is gone;

But rise and move, and love and smile and pray
For one more day.

And lying down at night for a last sleeping,
Say in that ear

Which hearkens ever: "Lord, within Thy keeping,
How should I fear?

And when to-morrow brings Thee nearer still,
Do Thou Thy will."

I might not sleep for awe; but peaceful, tender,
My soul would lie

All the night long; and when the morning splendor
Flushed o'er the sky,

I think that I could smile-could calmly say, "It is His day."

But if a wondrous hand from the blue yonder
Held out a scroll,

On which my life was writ, and I with wonder
Beheld unroll

To a long century's end its mystic clue,
What should I do?

What could I do, O blest Guide and Master,
Other than this:

Still to go on as now, not slower, faster,
Nor fear to miss

The road, altho so very long it be,
While led by Thee?

Step after step, feeling Thee close beside me,
Altho unseen,

Through thorns, through flowers, whether the tempest hides thee,

Or heavens serene,

Assured Thy faithfulness can not betray,
Thy love decay.

I may not know, my God, no hand revealeth
Thy counsels wise;

Along the path a deepening shadow stealeth,
No voice replies

To all my questioning thought, the time to tell,
And it is well.

Let me keep on, abiding and unfearing
Thy will always,

Through a long century's ripening fruition,
Or a short day's;

Thou canst not come too soon; and I can wait,
If Thou come late.



Father, I will not ask for wealth or fame,

Tho once they would have joyed my carnal sense: I shudder not to bear a hated name,

Wanting all wealth, myself my sole defense. But give me, Lord, eyes to behold the truth;

A seeing sense that knows the eternal right;

A heart with pity filled, and gentlest ruth;
A manly faith that makes all darkness light:
Give me the power to labor for mankind;

Make me the mouth of such as can not speak;
Eyes let me be to groping men, and blind;

A conscience to the base; and to the weak Let me be hands and feet; and to the foolish, mind; And lead still farther on such as Thy kingdom seek.



How sweet the chime of the Sabbath bells!

Each one its creed of music tells

In tones that float upon the air

As soft as song, as pure as prayer;
And I will put in simple rime
The language of the golden chime;
My happy heart with rapture swells
Responsive to the bells, sweet bells.

"Ye purifying waters, swell!"
In mellow tones rang out a bell;
"Tho faith alone in Christ can save,
Man must be plunged beneath the wave,

To show the world unfaltering faith
In what the Sacred Scriptures saith;
O swell! ye rising waters, swell!"
Pealed out the clear-toned Baptist bell.

"Oh heed the ancient landmarks well!"
In solemn tones exclaimed a bell;
"No progress made by mortal man
Can change the just eternal plan;
With God there can be nothing new;
Ignore the false, embrace the true,
While all is well! is well! is well!"
Pealed out the good old Dutch church-bell.

"In deeds of love excel! excel!"
Chimed out from ivied towers a bell;
"This is the church not built on sands,
Emblem of one not built by hands;
Its forms and sacred rites revere,
Come worship here! come worship here!
In rituals and faith excel!"
Chimed out the Episcopalian bell.

"Not faith alone, but works as well,
Must test the soul!" said a soft bell!
"Come here and cast aside your load,
'And work your way along the road,
With faith in God, and faith in man,
And hope in Christ, where hope began;
Do well! do well! do well! do well!"
Rang out the Unitarian bell.

"To all the truth we tell! we tell!"
Shouted in ecstasies a bell;
"Come all ye weary wanderers, see!
Our Lord has made salvation free!

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