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Precept and Practice (Poem)

Halt not! Decide which course is thine:
Look neither right nor left: Advance!
Thy mission is indeed divine—
Not at the beck and call of chance.

Hold up thine head, and know thy worth:
The Highest dwells Himself in thee,
No greater force in heaven or earth
Than Manhood ever can there be.

Wouldst order all—on sea—on land?—
Wouldst conquer and subdue the sky?—
Then take, O take thyself in hand—
And know that there the issues lie.

All that around thine eyes beguile
Are but thy soul's reflections: see!
The frown of failure—and the smile
Success attends—abide in thee.

Remember this, and cultivate
The noblest, purest, best: and then
Shalt thou—whate'er thy future state—
Make here and new heaven meet with men.

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James Allen

James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.

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