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The unconcern of sun and air,
For life or death, or blight or bloom.
The mountain pine looks calmly on
The fires that scourge the plains below,
Nor heeds the eagle in the sun
The small birds piping in the snow!
The world is God's, not thine;let Him
Work out a change, if change must be:
The hand that planted best can trim
And nurse the old unfruitful tree. “
So spake the Tempter, when the light
Of sun and stars had left the sky;
I listened, through the cloud and night,
And heard, me thought, a voice reply:
“Thy task may well seem over-hard,
Who scatterest in a thankless soil
Thy life as seed, with no reward
Save that which Duty gives to Toil.
Not wholly is thy heart resigned
To Heaven's benign and just decree,
Which, linking thee with all thy kind,.
Transmits their joys and griefs to thee.
Break off that sacred chain, and turn
Back on thyself thy love and care;
Be thou thine own mean idol, burn
Faith, Hope, and Trust, thy children, there.
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