Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
III. Love’s Beginnings
Thoughts on the Commandments
George Augustus Baker (1849–1906)
“LOVE your neighbor as yourself,”—
  So the parson preaches:
That ’s one half the Decalogue,—
  So the prayer-book teaches.
Half my duty I can do        5
  With but little labor,
For with all my heart and soul
  I do love my neighbor.
Mighty little credit, that,
  To my self-denial;        10
Not to love her, though, might be
  Something of a trial.
Why, the rosy light, that peeps
  Through the glass above her,
Lingers round her lips,—you see        15
  E’en the sunbeams love her.
So to make my merit more,
  I ’ll go beyond the letter:—
Love my neighbor as myself?
  Yes, and ten times better.        20
For she ’s sweeter than the breath
  Of the Spring, that passes
Through the fragrant, budding woods,
  O’er the meadow-grasses.
And I ’ve preached the word I know,        25
  For it was my duty
To convert the stubborn heart
  Of the little beauty.
Once again success has crowned
  Missionary labor,        30
For her sweet eyes own that she
  Also loves her neighbor.

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