Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
III. Faith: Hope: Love: Service
“If we had but a day”
Mary Lowe Dickinson (1839–1914)
WE should fill the hours with the sweetest things,
        If we had but a day;
We should drink alone at the purest springs
        In our upward way;
We should love with a lifetime’s love in an hour,        5
        If the hours were few;
We should rest, not for dreams, but for fresher power
        To be and to do.
We should guide our wayward or wearied wills
        By the clearest light;        10
We should keep our eyes on the heavenly hills,
        If they lay in sight;
We should trample the pride and the discontent
        Beneath our feet;
We should take whatever a good God sent,        15
        With a trust complete.
We should waste no moments in weak regret,
        If the day were but one;
If what we remember and what we forget
        Went out with the sun;        20
We should be from our clamorous selves set free,
        To work or to pray,
And to be what the Father would have us be,
        If we had but a day.

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