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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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