Truth And Falsehood

Truth by her own simplicity is known,
Falsehood by varnish and vermilion.

by Robert Herrick.

Truth And Error

Twixt truth and error, there's this difference known
Error is fruitful, truth is only one.

by Robert Herrick.

Search For Truth

Search for nothing any more, nothing
except truth.
Be very still, and try and get at the truth.

And the first question to ask yourself is:
How great a liar am I?

by David Herbert Lawrence.

Truth—is As Old As God

836

Truth—is as old as God—
His Twin identity
And will endure as long as He
A Co-Eternity—

And perish on the Day
Himself is borne away
From Mansion of the Universe
A lifeless Deity.

by Emily Dickinson.

Tell All The Truth

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth's superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.

by Emily Dickinson.

The Truth—is Stirless

780

The Truth—is stirless—
Other force—may be presumed to move—
This—then—is best for confidence—
When oldest Cedars swerve—

And Oaks untwist their fists—
And Mountains—feeble—lean—
How excellent a Body, that
Stands without a Bone—

How vigorous a Force
That holds without a Prop—
Truth stays Herself—and every man
That trusts Her—boldly up—

by Emily Dickinson.

Oh ! why is the world as it is, we ask,
With tears in our voice, and a sigh :
For nothing remains but an unfinished task,
While beauty is only hypocrisy's mask,
The end of it all—but to die.

Believe me, the world is a place full of joy,
And happiness stretches afar:
Alas ! that the workings of man should destroy
The meaning of God, with the deeds they employ,
Oh ! why are we all as we are?

by Radclyffe Hall.

The Thread Of Truth

Truth is a golden thread, seen here and there
In small bright specks upon the visible side
Of our strange being's parti-coloured web.
How rich the universe! 'Tis a vein of ore
Emerging now and then on Earth's rude breast,
But flowing full below. Like islands set
At distant intervals on Ocean's face,
We see it on our course; but in the depths
The mystic colonnade unbroken keeps
Its faithful way, invisible but sure.
Oh, if it be so, wherefore do we men
Pass by so many marks, so little heeding?

by Arthur Hugh Clough.

"Truth," said a traveller,
"Is a rock, a mighty fortress;
Often have I been to it,
Even to its highest tower,
From whence the world looks black."

"Truth," said a traveller,
"Is a breath, a wind,
A shadow, a phantom;
Long have I pursued it,
But never have I touched
The hem of its garment."
And I believed the second traveller;
For truth was to me
A breath, a wind,
A shadow, a phantom,
And never had I touched
The hem of its garment.

by Stephen Crane.

If Truth In Hearts That Perish

If truth in hearts that perish
Could move the powers on high,
I think the love I bear you
Should make you not to die.

Sure, sure, if stedfast meaning,
If single thought could save,
The world might end to-morrow,
You should not see the grave.

This long and sure-set liking,
This boundless will to please,
--Oh, you should live for ever,
If there were help in these.

But now, since all is idle,
To this lost heart be kind,
Ere to a town you journey
Where friends are ill to find.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

Tell Thee Truth, Sweet; No

TELL thee truth, sweet; no.
Truth is cross and sad and cold:
Lies are pitiful and kind,
Honey-soft as Love's own tongue:
Let me, love, lie so.
Lies are like a summer wind,
Wooing flower-buds to unfold
Lies will last while men are young.
Tell thee truth, love; no.

Let me, sweet, lie so.
Lies are Hope's light ministers,
Footless birds upon the wing:
Truth's a name for plodding care:
Tell thee truth, sweet; no.
Truth's the east wind on the Spring—
'Tis the wind, not Spring-time, errs.
Lies will last while maids are fair.
Let me lie, love, so.

by Augusta Davies Webster.

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

by Matthew Arnold.

Xxxii From Love Redeemed

Love feeds, like Intellect, his lamp with truth;
In the clear truths he finds its flame is measured.
And is not flesh, there, verity? In sooth!
So Love not by this fantasy is pleasured
That slurs the fact in flesh. Its atmosphere,
Too rare and nebulous, no fusing shows;
Its manna too ambrosial is and sheer:
Love craves that union, earthly hunger knows.
O sage is Love—he seeks the living line,
The miracles in breathing flesh explores,
The riches in the depth of sense, divine,
The veiled things only eternal longing pours
Light unobscured on—yes, his doubting done,
With flesh the imminent two converts to one.

by William Baylebridge.

Thou poet-painter, preacher of great truth,
Far more suggestive thine than written tome
Lo, we return with thee to that vast dome,
Dim cavern of the past. Visions uncouth,
Vague, rayless, all impalpable in sooth,
Send back the startled soul. The waters come
All tranquilly from that dim cavern forth,
The mystic tide of human life. A child,
Borne on its bosom, sports with blossoms wild.
A Presence, felt, but still unseen, the boat
With gentle hand guides onward, and beguiled
With music lost in other years, they float
Upon the stream. The hours unfelt, for life
Is joy in its first voyage, with light and blossoms rife.

by Elizabeth Oakes Smith.

Sonnet 138: When My Love Swears That She Is Made Of Truth

When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue;
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love, loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

by William Shakespeare.

To An Enthusiast

Young ardent soul, graced with fair Nature's truth,
Spring warmth of heart, and fervency of mind,
And still a large late love of all thy kind.
Spite of the world's cold practice and Time's tooth,—
For all these gifts, I know not, in fair sooth,
Whether to give thee joy, or bid thee blind
Thine eyes with tears,—that thou hast not resign'd
The passionate fire and freshness of thy youth:
For as the current of thy life shall flow,
Gilded by shine of sun or shadow-stain'd,
Through flow'ry valley or unwholesome fen,
Thrice blessed in thy joy, or in thy woe
Thrice cursed of thy race,—thou art ordain'd
To share beyond the lot of common men.

by Thomas Hood.

Sonnet Xi: In Truth, Oh Love

In truth, oh Love, with what a boyish kind
Thou doest proceed in thy most serious ways:
That when the heav'n to thee his best displays,
Yet of that best thou leav'st the best behind.

For like a child that some fair book doth find,
With gilded leaves or colored vellum plays,
Or at the most on some find picture stays,
But never heeds the fruit of writer's mind:

So when thou saw'st in Nature's cabinet
Stella, thou straight lookst babies in her eyes,
In her cheek's pit thou didst thy pitfall set:

And in her breast bopeep or couching lies,
Playing and shining in each outward part:
But, fool, seekst not to get into her heart.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Friend, though thy soul should burn thee, yet be still
Thoughts were not meant for strife, nor tongues for swords,
He that sees clear is gentlest of his words,
And that's not truth that hath the heart to kill.
The whole world's thought shall not one truth fulfil.
Dull in our age, and passionate in youth,
No mind of man hath found the perfect truth,
Nor shalt thou find it; therefore, friend, be still.

Watch and be still, nor hearken to the fool,
The babbler of consistency and rule:
Wisest is he, who, never quite secure,
Changes his thoughts for better day by day:
To-morrow some new light will shine, be sure,
And thou shalt see thy thought another way.

by Archibald Lampman.

Vox Ecclesiae, Vox Christi

Not 'neath the altar only,—yet, in sooth,
There more than elsewhere,—is the cry, “How long?”
The right sown there hath still borne fruit in wrong—
The wrong waxed fourfold. Thence, (in hate of truth)
O'er weapons blessed for carnage, to fierce youth
From evil age, the word hath hissed along:—
“Ye are the Lord's: go forth, destroy, be strong:
Christ's Church absolves ye from Christ's law of ruth.”
Therefore the wine-cup at the altar is
As Christ's own blood indeed, and as the blood
Of Christ's elect, at divers seasons spilt
On the altar-stone, that to man's church, for this,
Shall prove a stone of stumbling,—whence it stood
To be rent up ere the true Church be built.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

I SAW Truth on the mountains, golden-shod
With day-dawn, girt about with skies
Of azure mist, half veiling from man's eyes
Her silent face and gaze upturned to God.
Beneath were clouded steeps of shale and sod,
5
Tracked deviously by feet that human-wise
Toiled upward, but toiled vainly towards the prize;
Some following, shunning some where others trod.
Yet in the darkness oft there came, "I see,"
From eager hearts I met. "Behold!" men cried,
10
Yet variously; "such are Truth's features high."
Self's shadow, form the soul's intensity
Cast on the mist, not such the face I spied,
Calm, sovereign, silent, upturned 'midst the sky.

by Frederick George Scott.

Where Art Thou Come?

'Friend, whereto art thou come?' Thus Verity;
Of each that to the world's sad Olivet
Comes with no multitude, but alone by night,
Lit with the one torch of his lifted soul,
Seeking her that he may lay hands on her;
Thus: and waits answer from the mouth of deed.
Truth is a maid, whom men woo diversely;
This, as a spouse; that, as a light-o'-love,
To know, and having known, to make his brag.
But woe to him that takes the immortal kiss,
And not estates her in his housing life,
Mother of all his seed! So he betrays,
Not Truth, the unbetrayable, but himself:
And with his kiss's rated traitor-craft,
The Haceldama of a plot of days
He buys, to consummate his Judasry
Therein with Judas' guerdon of despair.

by Francis Thompson.

They mustered us up with a royal din,
In wearisome weeks of drought.
Ere ever half of the crops were in,
Or the half of the sheds cut out.

'Twas down with the saddle and spurs and whip
The swagman dropped his swag.
And we hurried us off to the outbound ship
To fight for the English flag.

The English flag, it is ours in sooth
We stand by it wrong or right.
But deep in our hearts is the honest truth
We fought for the sake of a fight.

And the English flag may flutter and wave
Where the World-wide Oceans toss,
But the flag the Australian dies to save
Is the flag of the Southern Cross.

If ever they want us to stand the brunt
Of a hard-faught, grim campaign,
We will carry our own flag up to the front
When we go to the wars again.

by Banjo Paterson.

Irregular Verses To Truth

Written at Fourteen Years of Age.


Where, lovely Goddess, dost thou dwell?
In what remote and silent shade?
Within what cave or lonely cell?
With what old hermit, or unpractis'd maid?
In vain I've sought thee all around,
But thy unfashionable sound
In crowds was never heard,
Nor ever has thy form in town or court appear'd.

The sanctuary is not safe to thee,
Chas'd thence by endless mystery;
Thy own professors chase thee thence,
And wage eternal war with thee and sense;
Then in perplexing comments lost,
E'en when they would be thought to show the most.
Most beautiful when most distress'd,
Descend, O Goddess, to my breast;
There thou may'st reign, unrivall'd and alone,
My thoughts thy subject, and my heart thy throne.

by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Loving In Truth, And Fain In Verse My Love To Show

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That She, dear She, might take some pleasure of my pain,
—Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburnt brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows;
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite—
"Fool!" said my Muse to me "look in thy heart, and write!"

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Sonnet I: Loving In Truth

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she (dear She) might take some pleasure of my pain:
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain;

I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain:
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burn'd brain.

But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay,
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seem'd but strangers in my way.

Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite--
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write."

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Truth And Divine Love Rejected By The World

O love, of pure and heavenly birth!
O simple truth, scarce known on earth!
Whom men resist with stubborn will;
And, more perverse and daring still,
Smother and quench, with reasonings vain,
While error and deception reign.

Whence comes it, that, your power the same
As His on high from whence you came,
Ye rarely find a listening ear,
Or heart that makes you welcome here?—
Because ye bring reproach and pain,
Where'er ye visit, in your train.

The world is proud, and cannot bear
The scorn and calumny ye share;
The praise of men the mark they mean,
They fly the place where ye are seen;
Pure love, with scandal in the rear,
Suits not the vain; it costs too dear.

Then, let the price be what it may,
Though poor, I am prepared to pay;
Come shame, come sorrow; spite of tears,
Weakness, and heart–oppressing fears;
One soul, as least, shall not repine,
To give you room; come, reign in mine!

by William Cowper.

The Truth About Hhorace

It is very aggravating
To hear the solemn prating
Of the fossils who are stating
That old Horace was a prude;
When we know that with the ladies
He was always raising Hades,
And with many an escapade his
Best productions are imbued.

There's really not much harm in a
Large number of his carmina,
But these people find alarm in a
Few records of his acts;
So they'd squelch the muse caloric,
And to students sophomoric
They d present as metaphoric
What old Horace meant for facts.

We have always thought 'em lazy;
Now we adjudge 'em crazy!
Why, Horace was a daisy
That was very much alive!
And the wisest of us know him
As his Lydia verses show him,--
Go, read that virile poem,--
It is No. 25.

He was a very owl, sir,
And starting out to prowl, sir,
You bet he made Rome howl, sir,
Until he filled his date;
With a massic-laden ditty
And a classic maiden pretty
He painted up the city,
And Maecenas paid the freight!

by Eugene Field.

A stripling Bonze (from Eastern clime
We bring the tale we have to tell)
Was standing, once upon a time,
Beside the margin of a well.
Down which he peer'd him wistfully,
As if all deeply pondering
On matter which therein might be,
Some curious or some precious thing.
There while he paused, an old Fakir
Observing, as he wandered by,
Thus spake him, 'What dost thou do here?
To whom the stripling made reply.

'Good Father! I have heard them tell
How truth, our angel-friend in doubt,
Doth hold her dwelling in a well,
And I full fain would win her out.'
'Nay, prythee, Boy! lift not that rope,
If grey experience may advise.
The very best we e'er may hope
From truth, when won, is compromise.'
'Or, scorning that, make sure, fond youth!
Thou now art sowing years of strife.
Who needs will battle for the truth
Shall lead a mighty sorry life.'
The stripling heard; the rope let go;
And never from that hour applied
To such unthankful task; and lo!
Became Chief Bonze before he died.

by John Kenyon.

COME then, let us at least know what's the truth.
Let us not blink our eyes and say
We did not understand; old age or youth
Benumbed our sense or stole our sight away.
It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Wages are the worth of Work.
No; they are what the Employer wills to spare
To let the Employee sheer starvation shirk.
They're the life-pittance Competition leaves,
The least for which brother'll slay brother.
He who the fruits of this hell-strife receives,
He is a thief, an assassin, and none other.
It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Rent's the interest on just gains.
Rent's the thumb-screw that makes the worker share
With him who worked not the produce of his pains.
Rent's the wise tax the human tape-worm knows.
The fat he takes; the life-lean leaves.
The holy Landlord is, as we suppose,
Just this — the model of assassin-thieves!
What is the trick the Rich-man, then, contrives?
How play my lords their brilliant rôles? —
They live on the plunder of our toiling lives,
The degradation of our bodies and souls!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

The Truth Teller

The Truth Teller lifts the curtain,
And shows us the people's plight;
And everything seems uncertain,
And nothing at all looks right.
Yet out of the blackness groping,
My heart finds a world in bloom;
For it somehow is fashioned for hoping,
And it cannot live in the gloom.


He tells us from border to border,
That race is warring with race;
With riot and mad disorder,
The earth is a wretched place;
And yet ere the sun is setting
I am thinking of peace, not strife;
For my heart has a way of forgetting
All things save the joy of life.


I heard in my Youth's beginning
That earth was a region of woe,
And trouble, and sorrow, and sinning:
The Truth Teller told me so.
I knew it was true, and tragic;
And I mourned over much that was wrong;
And then, by some curious magic,
The heart of me burst into song.


The years have been going, going,
A mixture of pleasure and pain;
But the Truth Teller's books are showing
That evil is on the gain.
And I know that I ought to be grieving,
And I should be too sad to sing;
But somehow I keep on believing
That life is a glorious thing.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Spread The Truth!

BRAVE the anger of the wealthy! Scorn their bitter lying spite!
Tell the Truth in simple language, when you know that you are right!
And they’ll read it by the slush-lamps in the station huts at night,

I have seen the People’s triumph in the visions of my dreams;
It as pictured by the campfires down the lonely western streams,
And the teamsters talk about it as they tramp beside their teams.

Write the Truth in simple language, and you shall not write in vain!
Sing a ringing song of freedom, and you’ll hear the same refrain
Where the drovers ride together far across the western plain.

Write of wrongs that you are hating with the grand old burning hate!
For the lonely digger reads it when the western day is late,
And he marks it in the paper he is sending to his mate.

Spread the Truth in simple language when you feel it in your breast!
It will reach the far selections in the wild Australian west,
Where the bushmen yarn together on a sunny day of rest.

O the workers’ new religion spreads beneath the southern skies,
And the bearded fathers read it, for its words are kind and wise,
And the little children listen to the Truth with wondering eyes.

by Henry Lawson.

Self–love And Truth Incompatible

From thorny wilds a monster came,
That filled my soul with fear and shame;
The birds, forgetful of their mirth,
Drooped at the sight, and fell to earth;
When thus a sage addressed mine ear,
Himself unconscious of a fear:
'Whence all this terror and surprise,
Distracted looks and streaming eyes?
Far from the world and its affairs,
The joy it boasts, the pain it shares,
Surrender, without guile or art,
To God an undivided heart;
The savage form, so feared before,
Shall scare your trembling soul no more;
For, loathsome as the sight may be,
'Tis but the love of self you see.
Fix all your love on God alone,
Choose but his will, and hate your own:
No fear shall in your path be found,
The dreary waste shall bloom around,
And you, through all your happy days,
Shall bless his name, and sing his praise.'
Oh lovely solitude, how sweet
The silence of this calm retreat!
Here truth, the fair whom I pursue,
Gives all her beauty to my view;
The simple, unadorned display
Charms every pain and fear away.
O Truth, whom millions proudly slight;
O Truth, my treasure and delight;
Accept this tribute to thy name,
And this poor heart from which it came!

by William Cowper.

Fle fro the pres, and dwelle with sothefastnesse,
Suffise thin owen thing, thei it be smal;
For hord hath hate, and clymbyng tykelnesse,
Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal.
Savour no more thanne the byhove schal;
Reule weel thiself, that other folk canst reede;
And trouthe schal delyvere, it is no drede.

Tempest the nought al croked to redresse,
In trust of hire that tourneth as a bal.
Myche wele stant in litel besynesse;
Bywar therfore to spurne ayeyns an al;
Stryve not as doth the crokke with the wal.
Daunte thiself, that dauntest otheres dede;
And trouthe shal delyvere, it is no drede.

That the is sent, receyve in buxumnesse;
The wrestlyng for the worlde axeth a fal.
Here is non home, here nys but wyldernesse.
Forth, pylgryme, forth! forth, beste, out of thi stal!
Know thi contré! loke up! thonk God of al!
Hold the heye weye, and lat thi gost the lede;
And trouthe shal delyvere, it is no drede.

[L'envoy.]
Therfore, thou Vache, leve thine olde wrechednesse;
Unto the world leve now to be thral.
Crie hym mercy, that of hys hie godnesse
Made the of nought, and in espec{.i}al
Draw unto hym, and pray in general
For the, and eke for other, hevenelyche mede;
And trouthe schal delyvere, it is no drede.

by Geoffrey Chaucer.

From the far off time of my youthful prime
A light comes evermore;
Oh! it seems so bright in its far‐off light,
The glory I had of yore.

What the swallow sang with its silvery clang,
When autumn and spring were near;
What the church bells rung and the choristers sung,
The chant and the song I hear.
Oh! that parting day when I went away,
How my heart to joy awoke!
And again I came, but ah! not the same,
For the trusting heart was broke.
Since that parting day—that parting day
Through the fair bright world I’ve ranged,
And the world is there still as bright and fair
But I—’tis I have changed.
Oh! childhood’s truth, with its words of sooth,
And its lips as pure as gold,
Like a bird it sung, and its untaught tongue
Was wise as the prophets of old.
Bright home and hearth, in this joyless dearth,
Could thy holy vision gleam
But once, once more from the far‐off shore
Of the past, as a heavenly dream!
Oh! the swallow may come from her southern home,
The spendthrift regain his gold,
The church bells ring, and the choristers sing
Again as they did of old;
But the hopes of youth and its trusting truth,
And bright sunny laughter gleams,
Once passed and o’er, can return no more,
Except in the land of dreams.

by Lady Jane Wilde.

My Savior, On The Word Of Truth

My Savior, on the word of truth
In earnest hope I live;
I ask for all the precious things
Thy boundless love can give.
I look for many a lesser light
About my path to shine;
But chiefly long to walk with Thee,
And only trust in Thine.

In holy expectation held,
Thy strength my heart shall stay,
For Thy right hand will never let
My trust be cast away.
Yea, Thou hast kept me near Thy feet,
In many a deadly strife,
By the stronghold of hope in Thee,
The hope of endless life.

Thou knowest that I am not blest
As Thou wouldst have me be,
Till all the peace and joy of faith
Possess my soul in Thee
And still I seek ’mid many fears,
With yearnings unexpressed,
The comforts of Thy strengthening love,
Thy soothing, settling rest.

It is not as Thou wilt with me,
Till, humbled in the dust;
I know no place in all my heart
Wherein to put my trust.
Until I find, O Lord, in Thee,
The Lowly and the Meek,
That fullness which Thy own redeemed
Go nowhere else to seek.

Then, O my Savior, on my soul,
Cast down, but not dismayed,
Still be Thy chastening, healing hand
In tender, mercy laid.
And while I wait for all Thy joys,
My yearning heart to fill,
Teach me to walk and work with Thee,
And at Thy feet sit still.

by Anna Laetitia Waring.

Who first said "false as dreams?" Not one who saw
Into the wild and wondrous world they sway;
No thinker who hath read their mystic law;
No Poet who hath weaved them in his lay.

Else had he known that through the human breast
Cross and recross a thousand fleeting gleams,
That, passed unnoticed in the day's unrest,
Come out at night, like stars, in shining dreams;

That minds too busy or to dull to mark
The dim suggestions of the noisier hours,
By dreams in the deep silence of the dark,
Are roused at midnight with their folded powers.

Like that old fount beneath Dodona's oaks,
That, dry and voiceless in the garish noon,
When the calm night arose with modest looks,
Caught with full wave the sparkle of the moon.

If, now and then, a ghastly shape glide in,
And fright us with its horrid gloom or glee,
It is the ghost of some forgotten sin
We failed to exorcise on bended knee.

And that sweet face which only yesternight
Came to thy solace, dreamer (did'st thou read
The blessing in its eyes of tearful light?)
Was but the spirit of some gentle deed.

Each has its lesson; for our dreams in sooth,
Come they in shape of demons, gods, or elves,
Are allegories with deep hearts of truth
That tell us solemn secrets of ourselves.

by Henry Timrod.

Labor Is Prayer

LABORARE est orare:
We, black-visaged sons of toil,
From the coal-mine and the anvil
And the delving of the soil,--
From the loom, the wharf, the warehouse,
And the ever-whirling mill,
Out of grim and hungry silence
Raise a weak voice small and shrill;--
Laborare est orare:
Man, dost hear us? God, He will.

We, who just can keep from starving
Sickly wives,--not always mild:
Trying not to curse Heaven's bounty
When it sends another child,--
We who, worn-out, doze on Sundays
O'er the Book we strive to read,
Cannot understand the parson
Or the catechism and creed.
Laborare est orare:--
Then, good sooth, we pray indeed.

We, poor women, feeble-natured,
Large of heart, in wisdom small,
Who the world's incessant battle
Cannot understand at all,
All the mysteries of the churches,
All the troubles of the state,--
Whom child-smiles teach 'God is loving,'
And child-coffins, 'God is great':
Laborare est orare:--
We too at His footstool wait.

Laborare est orare;
Hear it, ye of spirit poor,
Who sit crouching at the threshold
While your brethren force the door;
Ye whose ignorance stands wringing
Rough hands, scamed with toil, nor dares
Lift so much as eyes to Heaven,--
Lo! all life this truth declares,
Laborare est orare;
And the whole earth rings with prayers.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

Young Love sat in a rosy bower,
Towards the close of a summer day;
At the evening's dusky hour,
Truth bent her blessed steps that way;
Over her face
Beaming a grace
Never bestowed on child of clay.

Truth looked on with an ardent joy,
Wondering Love could grow so tired;
Hovering o'er him she kissed the boy,
When, with a sudden impulse fired,
Exquisite pains
Burning his veins,
Wildly he woke, as one inspired.

Eagerly Truth embraced the god,
Filling his soul with a sense divine;
Rightly he knew the paths she trod,
Springing from heaven's royal line;
Far had he strayed
From his guardian maid,
Perilling all for his rash design.

Still as they went, the tricksy youth
Wandered afar from the maiden fair;
Many a plot he laid, in sooth,
Wherein the maid could have no share
Sowing his seeds,
Bringing forth weeds,
Seldom a rose, and many a tare.

Save when the maiden was by his side,
Love was erratic, and rarely true;
When she smiled on the graceful bride,
Over the old world rose the new,
Into life's skies
Blending her dyes,
Fairer than those of the rainbow's hue.

Sunny-eyed maidens, whom Love decoys,
Mark well the arts of the wayward youth!
Sorrows he bringeth, disguised as joys,
Rose-hued delights with cores of ruth;
Learn to believe
Love will deceive,
Save when he comes with his guardian, Truth.

by Charles Sangster.

OH! born to sooth distress, and lighten care;
Lively as soft, and innocent as fair;
Blest with that sweet simplicity of thought
So rarely found, and never to be taught;
Of winning speech, endearing, artless, kind,
The loveliest pattern of a female mind;
Like some fair spirit from the realms of rest
With all her native heaven within her breast;
So pure, so good, she scarce can guess at sin,

But thinks the world without like that within;
Such melting tenderness, so fond to bless,
Her charity almost becomes excess.
Wealth may be courted, wisdom be rever'd,
And beauty prais'd, and brutal strength be fear'd;
But goodness only can affection move;
And love must owe its origin to love.




OF gentle manners, and of taste refin'd,
With all the graces of a polish'd mind;
Clear sense and truth still shone in all she spoke,

And from her lips no idle sentence broke.
Each nicer elegance of art she knew;
Correctly fair, and regularly true :
Her ready fingers plied with equal skill
The pencil's task, the needle, or the quill.
So pois'd her feelings, so compos'd her soul,
So subject all to reason's calm controul,
One only passion, strong, and unconfin'd,
Disturb'd the balance of her even mind:
One passion rul'd despotic in her breast,
In every word, and look, and thought confest;
But that was love, and love delights to bless
The generous transports of a fond excess.

by Anna Laetitia Barbauld.

On The Truth Of The Saviour

E'en John the Baptist did not know
Who Christ the Lord could be,
And bade his own disciples go
The strange event to see.


They said, Art thou the one of whom
'Twas written long before?
Is there another still to come,
Who will all things restore?


This is enough, without a name--
Go, tell him what is done;
Behold the feeble, weak and lame,
With strength rise up and run.


This is enough--the blind now see,
The dumb Hosannas sing;
Devils far from his presence flee,
As shades from morning's wing.


See the distress'd, all bath'd in tears,
Prostrate before him fall;
Immanuel speaks, and Lazarus hears--
The dead obeys his call.


This is enough--the fig-tree dies,
And withers at his frown;
Nature her God must recognize,
And drop her flowery crown.


At his command the fish increase,
And loaves of barley swell--
Ye hungry eat, and hold your peace,
And find a remnant still.


At his command the water blushed,
And all was turned to wine,
And in redundance flowed afresh,
And owned its God divine.


Behold the storms at his rebuke,
All calm upon the sea--
How can we for another look,
When none can work as he?


This is enough--it must be God,
From whom the plagues are driven;
At whose command the mountains nod,
And all the Host of Heaven!

by George Moses Horton.

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