Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAW OF LIBERTY, by ALICE CARY



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THE LAW OF LIBERTY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This extent hath freedom's ground
Last Line: I upon myself, advance.
Subject(s): Freedom; Liberty


THIS extent hath freedom's ground, --
In my freedom I am bound
Never any soul to wound.

Not my own: it is not mine,
Lord, except to make it thine,
By good works through grace divine.

Not another's: Thou alone
Keepest judgment for thine own;
Only unto Thee is known

What to pity, what to blame;
How the fierce temptation came:
What is honor, what is shame.

Right is bound in this -- to win
Good till injury begin;
That, and only that, is sin.

Selfish good may not befall
Any man, or great or small;
Best for one is best for all.

And who vainly doth desire
Good through evil to acquire,
In his bosom taketh fire.

Wronging no man, Lord, nor Thee
Vexing, I do pray to be
In my soul, my body, free.

Free to freely leave behind
When the better things I find,
Worser things, howe'er enshrined.

So that pain may peace enhance,
And through every change and chance,
I upon myself, advance.





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