Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
Sonnets and Other Poems, Chiefly Religious (1890).
I. A Thought of Stoicism
By Joseph John Murphy (1827–1894)
I HAVE ere now been half inclined
  To wish the present life were all;
  That death upon the soul might fall,
And darkness overwhelm the mind.
Not that I envied then the beast        5
  Which never thinks of good or ill,
  And only cares to eat his fill
At mighty Nature’s bounteous feast;
But that our motives might be pure,
  And free our choice and clear our way,        10
  The law of conscience to obey,
Whether to act or to endure;
To fight with sin, without regard
  To conquests in the battle won;
  To say at last, “My work is done;        15
I die, and seek for no reward.”
And yet I know, ’tis better far
  That faith should look beyond the grave
  On Him who died the world to save,
And rose to be the Polar Star,        20
For ever, of our hope and love;
  To guide us on through death and night.
  To realms of deathless life and light,
To mansions of the blest above.
I know ’tis well to trust the Power        25
  Who makes the buried seeds to bloom
  That He will raise me from the tomb
As summer’s breath awakes the flower;
To take a child upon my knee,
  Or lay what was my friend in dust,        30
  And feel a reverential trust
That He who made them both to be,—
Who gives us death as well as birth,
  And maketh children grow to men,—
  Will give us other life again,        35
More blessèd than the life on earth.

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