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BETTER THINGS.

191

Better to love than be beloved,

Though lonely all the day; Better the fountain in the heart,

Than the fountain by the way.

Better a feeble love to God,

Than for woman's love to pine ; Better to have the making God

Than the woman made divine.

Better be fed by mother's hand,

Than eat alone at will;
Better to trust in God, than say:

My goods my storehouse fill.

Better to be a little wise

Than learned overmuch;
Better than high are lowly thoughts,

For truthful thoughts are such.

Better than thrill a listening crowd,

Sit at a wise man's feet;
But better teach a child, than toil

To make thyself complete.

192

BETTER THINGS.

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Better to walk the realm unseen,

Than watch the hour's event;
Better the smile of God alway,

Than the voice of men's consent.

Better to have a quiet grief

Than a tumultuous joy;
Better than manhood, age's face,

If the heart be of a boy.

Better the thanks of one dear heart,

Than a nation's voice of praise ;
Better the twilight ere the dawn,

Than yesterday's mid-blaze.

Better a death when work is done,

Than earth's most favoured birth ;
Better a child in God's great house,

Than the king of all the earth.

GEORGE Mac DONALD.

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M

AN must be pleased ; but him to please

Is woman's pleasure ; down the gulf

Of his condoled necessities
She casts her best, she flings herself.
How often flings for nought ! and yokes

Her heart to an icicle or whim,
Whose each impatient word provokes

Another, not from her, but him ; While she, too gentle e'en to force

His penitence by kind replies, Waits by, expecting his remorse,

With pardon in her pitying eyes ;
And if he once by shame oppressed,

A comfortable word confers,
She leans and weeps against his breast,

And seems to think the sin was hers ;

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194

THE WIFE'S TRAGEDY.

And whilst his love has any life,

Or any eye to see her charms,
At any time, she's still his wife,

Dearly devoted to his arms;
She loves with love that cannot tire;

And when, ah, woe! she loves alone,
Through passionate duty love flames higher,

As grass grows taller round a stone.

COVENTRY PATMORE.

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E that from dross would win the precious ore,

Bends o’er the crucible with earnest eye,

The subtle, searching process to explore, Lest the one brilliant moment should pass by, When in the molten silver's virgin mass He meets his pictured face, as in a glass.

Thus in God's furnace are His people tried ;

Thrice happy they who to the end endure; But who the fiery trial may

abide ! Who from the crucible come forth so pure That He whose eyes of flame look through the

whole, May see His image perfect in the soul ?

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