MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
occasions rise
       So often that demand such sacrifice;
       More skilful in self knowledge, even more pure,
       As tempted more; more able to endure,
       As more exposed to suffering and distress;
       Thence, also, more alive to tenderness. 
       —­Tis he whose law is reason; who depends
       Upon that law as on the best of friends;
       Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
       To evil for a guard against worse ill,
       And what in quality or act is best
       Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
       He labours good on good to fix, and owes
       To virtue every triumph that he knows: 
       —­Who, if he rise to station of command,
       Rises by open means; and there will stand
       On honourable terms, or else retire,
       And in himself possess his own desire;
       Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
       Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
       And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
       For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state: 
       Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
       Like showers of manna, if they come at all;
       Whose powers shed round him in the common strife,
       Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
       A constant influence, a peculiar grace;
       But who, if he be called upon to face
       Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
       Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
       Is happy as a Lover; and attired
       With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired;
       And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
       In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw: 
       Or if an unexpected call succeed,
       Come when it will, is equal to the need: 
       —­He who, though thus endued as with a sense
       And faculty for storm and turbulence,
       Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
       To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes;
       Sweet images! which, wheresoe’er he be,
       Are at his heart; and such fidelity
       It is his darling passion to approve;
       More brave for this, that he hath much to love:—­
       ’Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted, high,
       Conspicuous object in a Nation’s eye,
       Or left unthought of in obscurity,—­
       Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
       Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not—­
       Plays, in the many games of life, that one
       Where what he most doth value must be won: 
       Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
       Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
       Who not content that former worth stand fast,
       Looks forward, persevering to the last,
       From well to better, daily self-surpassed: 
       Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
       For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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