Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
759. Believe and Take Heart
 
By John Lancaster Spalding
 
 
WHAT can console for a dead world?
We tread on dust which once was life;
To nothingness all things are hurled:
What meaning in a hopeless strife?
        Time’s awful storm        5
        Breaks but the form.
 
Whatever comes, whatever goes,
Still throbs the heart whereby we live;
The primal joys still lighten woes,
And time which steals doth also give.        10
        Fear not, be brave:
        God can thee save.
 
The essential truth of life remains,
Its goodness and its beauty too,
Pure love’s unutterable gains,        15
And hope which thrills us through and through:
        God has not fled,
        Souls are not dead.
 
Not in most ancient Palestine,
Nor in the lightsome air of Greece,        20
Were human struggles more divine,
More blessed with guerdon of increase:
        Take thou thy stand
        In the workers’ band.
 
Hast then no faith? Thine is the fault:—        25
What prophets, heroes, sages, saints,
Have loved, on thee still makes assault,
Thee with immortal things acquaints.
        On life then seize:
        Doubt is disease.        30
 

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