Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NOT NOW, by ALICE CARY



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First Line: The path of duty I clearly trace
Last Line: "oh, not to-day: not now!"
Subject(s): Duty; Failure


THE path of duty I clearly trace,
I stand with conscience face to face,
And all her pleas allow;
Calling and crying the while for grace, --
"Some other time, and some other place:
Oh, not to-day; not now!"

I know 't is a demon boding ill,
I know I have power to do if I will,
And I put my hand to th' plough;
I have fair, sweet seeds in my barn, and lo!
When all the furrows are ready to sow,
The voice says, "Oh, not now!"

My peace I sell at the price of woe;
In heart and in spirit I suffer so,
The anguish wrings my brow;
But still I linger and cry for grace, --
"Some other time, and some other place:
Oh, not to-day; not now!"

I talk to my stubborn heart and say,
The work I must do I will do to-day;
I will make to the Lord a vow:
And I will not rest and I will not sleep
Till the vow I have vowed I rise and keep;
And the demon cries, "Not now!"

And so the days and the years go by,
And so I register lie upon lie,
And break with Heaven my vow;
For when I would boldly take my stand,
This terrible demon stays my hand, --
"Oh, not to-day: not now!"





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