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Poems: With a Sketch of the Life and Experience of Annie R. Smith

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    Charity

    There is a way more excellent, so traced the sacred pen,
    Than e’en to share the precious gifts which God vouchsafes to men;
    It is to draw for every act our motives from above,
    And make our whole of mortal life a holocaust of love.
    PSAS 140.3

    For though the mind with all the wealth of human lore expand,
    Though e’en an angel’s glowing words we hold at our command,
    If in each thought and word expressed, no charity abound,
    ‘Twill but be like the tinkling brass, the cymbal’s hollow sound.
    PSAS 140.4

    And though all knowledge we possessed, all mysteries could prove,
    Had faith to bid the rugged mount to yonder sea remove,
    If charity dwell not within, the all-inspiring power,
    We are but cyphers in the scale, the beings of an hour.
    PSAS 141.1

    And though our goods we freely give to meet the sufferer’s need,
    And yield our bodies to the stake, the fiery flame to feed;
    If charity prompt not these acts, so fair to human sight,
    It profits nothing in His eyes who reads the heart aright.
    PSAS 141.2

    For charity is but the name for every heavenly grace;
    With human weakness long she bears, to anger ne’er gives place;
    Her features fair with kindness glow, no envy stirs her breast,
    Nor e’er by boastful acts of words is inward pride expressed.
    PSAS 141.3

    She ever seeketh others’ good, regardless of her own;
    She thinks no evil, speaks no ill, by act, or look, or tone;
    Not in iniquity, but in truth, doth she her comfort take,
    And bears, believes, endures, and hopes, all things, for Jesus’ sake.
    PSAS 141.4

    Hail, holy Charity! bright daughter of the skies!
    An angel from the ruins of our once fair paradise,
    Still lingering with our fallen race to point our feet above.
    And show us what a Heaven will be, where all is wrought in love.
    PSAS 141.5

    In the dark places of the earth thy footsteps may we trace,
    By fruitful fields and verdant plains where once were desert wastes.
    The orphan rises up with joy thy coming steps to bless,
    And widows, smiling through their tears, their grateful thanks express.
    PSAS 142.1

    To clothe the naked, feed the poor, bestowing joy for pain;
    To bring relief to those who long in suffering have lain;
    To cause the sad, despondent heart to sing aloud for joy—
    These are thy works, sweet Charity, thy holy, blest employ.
    PSAS 142.2

    We welcome thee, O Heavenly grace! be thou our constant guide;
    Let thy sweet spirit in our hearts forevermore abide.
    Help us to scatter deeds of love in all the paths we tread;
    For blessing thus our fellow-men, we honor Christ our head.
    PSAS 142.3

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