Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FAITH AND WORKS, by ALICE CARY



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FAITH AND WORKS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not what we think, but what we do
Last Line: For evermore.
Subject(s): Faith; Belief; Creed


NOT what we think, but what we do,
Makes saints of us: all stiff and cold,
The outlines of the corpse show through
The cloth of gold.

And in despite the outward sin, --
Despite belief with creeds at strife, --
The principle of love within
Leavens the life.

For, 't is for fancied good, I claim,
That men do wrong, -- not wrong's desire;
Wrapping themselves, as 't were, in flame
To cheat the fire.

Not what God gives, but what He takes,
Uplifts us to the holiest height;
On truth's rough crags life's current breaks
To diamond light.

From transient evil I do trust
That we a final good shall draw;
That in confusion, death, and dust
Are light and law.

That He whose glory shines among
The eternal stars, descends to mark
This foolish little atom swung
Loose in the dark.

But though I should not thus receive
A sense of order and control,
My God, I could not disbelieve
My sense of soul.

For though, alas! I can but see
A hand's breadth backward, or before,
I am, and since I am, must be
For evermore.





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