If this were our creed it were creed enough
To keep us thoughtful and make us brave
On this sad journey o'er pathways rough,
That lead us steadily on to the grave:
Speak no evil, and cause no ache;
Utter no jest that can pain awake;
Guard your actions and bridle your tongue;
Words are adders when hearts are stung.
If this were our aim it were all in sooth
That any soul needs to climb to Heaven,
And we would not cumber the way of truth
With dreary dogmas, or rites priest given:
Help whoever, whenever you can;
Man for ever needs aid from man;
Let never a day die in the west;
That you have not comforted some sad breast.
Were this our belief we need not brood
O'er intricate isms and modes of faith,
For this embodies the highest goal
For the life we are living or after death.
We meet no trials we do not need;
Well-borne sorrow is holy seed
That shall rise in a harvest of golden grain;
And a wise soul ever thanks God for pain.
News and Observer [Raleigh, NC] 29 Aug. 1886.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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