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[232]

The reward.

who, looking backward from his manhood's prime,
     Sees not the spectre of his misspent time?
And, through the shade
     Of funeral cypress planted thick behind,
Hears no reproachful whisper on the wind
     From his loved dead?

Who bears no trace of passion's evil force?
     Who shuns thy sting, O terrible Remorse?
Who does not cast
     On the thronged pages of his memory's book,
At times, a sad and half-reluctant look,
     Regretful of the past?

Alas! the evil which we fain would shun
     We do, and leave the wished — for good undone:
Our strength to-day
     Is but to-morrow's weakness, prone to fall;
Poor, blind, unprofitable servants all
     Are we alway.

Yet who, thus looking backward o'er his years,
     Feels not his eyelids wet with grateful tears,
If he hath been
     Permitted, weak and sinful as he was,
To cheer and aid, in some ennobling cause,
     His fellow-men?

If he hath hidden the outcast, or let in
     A ray of sunshine to the cell of sin;
If he hath lent

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