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A More Excellent Way (Poem)

Covet earnestly the best gifts; and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.
—Corinthians xii., 31.

It is not in the ready flow of words,
The apt repartee, phrases neatly turned,
Not merely in the cloven tongue of fire
That pours out freely all the mind has stored,
Nor yet in greatest knowledge widely gleaned
That the high excellence of Truth is found.
Secrets of science, thoughts of deepest things—
Great gifts are these, but not in these alone
Can power dwell to raise the hearts of men
To break the barriers clown, and let the light
Shine in, and scatter dark illusion’s gloom.
Great gifts are these, and we do well to strive
And covet earnestly to make them ours;
Yet high above them show I unto you
A way more excellent—the way of Love;
For Love shall still abide when words are done;
Love still remaineth after tongues have ceased;
And when our childish thoughts are put aside
Before the rising beam of Manhood’s Light,
(Dim mirrors of the Truth that but reflect
Chance rays of light from Wisdom’s Central Sun),
When all are passed, and face to face we stand
With the Eternal Secret, we shall find
That Love, life‘s greatest gift, has conquered all;
Wisdom and Love are One, and here is Power!

Words which are simple, while their meaning is far-reaching, are good words.
—Mencius

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