Menella Bute Smedley

Three Voices

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What saith the Past to thee? Weep!
Truth is departed!
Beauty hath died like the dream of a sleep,
Love is faint-hearted.
Trifles of sense, the profoundly unreal,
Scare from our spirits God's holy ideal;
So, like a funeral bell slow and deep,
So tolls the Past to thee,—Weep!
How speaks the Present hour? Act!
Toil without ceasing!
So shall thy footsteps by glory be track'd,
Slow, but increasing.
Scorn not the smallness of daily endeavour,
Let the great meaning ennoble it ever,
Droop not o'er efforts expended in vain,
Work, as believing that labour is gain.
What doth the Future say? Hope!
Walk upward glancing!

See where light fringes the far-rising slope;
Day is advancing.
Not for a moment despair of the Right;
Nothing can hinder the passing of night!
Not for a moment make peace with the wrong,
Fear not man's weakness when God is so strong!

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Menella Bute Smedley