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If We Knew (Poem)

If we knew the cares and crosses
Crowding round our neighbor's way;
If we knew the little losses,
Sorely grievous, day by day;
Would we then so often chide him
For his lack of thrift and gain,
Leaving on his hearth a shadow,
Leaving on his life a stain?

If we knew the clouds above us,
Held by gentle blessings there,
Would we turn away all trembling,
In our blind and weak despair?
Would we shrink from little shadows,
Lying on the dewy grass,
While 'tis only birds in Eden
Just in mercy flying past?

If we knew the silent story
Quivering through the heart of pain,
Would our manhood dare to doom them
Back to haunts of guilt again?
Life hath many a tangled crossing,
Joy hath many a break of woe,
And the cheek tear-stained is whitest—
This the blessed angels know.

Let us reach into our bosoms
For the key to others' lives,
And with love toward erring nature
Cherish love that still survives:
So that when our disrobed spirits
Soar to realms of light again,
We may say, "Dear Father, judge us
As we judged our fellow-men."

"Morning Light"

The proud think well of all they do, and are little troubled at their greater wants.
They easily see another man's failings; but the very same or worse they justify in themselves.
—Richard Baxter
We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves.
The consciousness of wrong-doing makes us irritable, and our heart, in its cunning, quarrels with what is outside it, in order that it may deafen the clamor within.
—H. F. Amiel
Anger is a confluence of all the irregular passions;
there are in it envy and sorrow, fear and scorn, pride and prejudice, rashness and inconsideration,
rejoicing in evil and a desire to inflict it, self-love, impatience, and curiosity.
—Jeremy Taylor
Not only say the right thing in the right place, but leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

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