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The Better Way (Poem)

My heart spake unto me and said,—
"Resent the cruel shafts hatred hath hurled against thee.
Fling back again with withering scorn
The scathing taunt, the shameful words sent forth to wound and tear thy heart;
Stand firm upon thy inward sense of justice, and do thou scorn the scorner;
Meet bitterness with bitterness, clash scorn ’gainst scorn;
Let hatred dash itself against a greater hate;
So shall thy foe be vanquished, and thy victory shall be sure.
For why should Right submit to calumny?
Why should not Love, outraged, and mocked and slandered,
Arise in righteousness and Truth to slay its dire accuser?

So spake my heart to me.

Man spake to me, and said,-—
"Unworthiness hath now unmasked itself.
See, the real man stands unconcealed.
It was not love!
It was not sympathy!
’Twas not nobility of soul as thou did’st fondly dream.
Let him go forth from out thy life;
Tread down each cherished memory;
Cast from thee every tender tie.
He was not worthy thy great trust;
Thou hast but wandered in a dream of friendship;
Thy heart has trusted in a broken reed—
Nay, more, a rank and bitter weed
Breathing forth venomous vapors, while thou did’st, in thy guileless trust and confidence,
Give in exchange ever thy love and gentleness.
Curse him, I say, and let him go?"

Thus spake man unto me.

God spake to me,
And all my heart was still, as also was the voice of man
Urging for retribution and for justice.
God said:—
"He is My child.
See thou how white his soul,—My Image and My Likeness!
Those words from which thy spirit shrinks—
They are not real—
They are but empty sounds,
Expressions of a dream of pain and agony.
They hurt and wound the Dreamer most.
Those thoughts in which a something man calls hate is born
Are but the wailing phantasies born of the seeming, not the REAL.
All that thy smitten heart cries out against—
All that the voice of man condemns and urges thee to rise against—
What is it? Naught, and less than naught!
Vex not thy soul.
The Real is still the REAL.
Deep in his being still he loves, because he is my child, as thou.
I AM the ALL.
In Me all beings live and move.
I change not!
Lift thou his soul and thine up unto Me.
Cry, if thou wilt, "Oh God! My God! My God!"
And crying, bring Me all the Beauty and the Love,
For these are Real, and these can never fade away.
Then thou shalt have no sense of loss,
No emptiness, no pain;
And thou shalt keep thy friend in Me;
And thou shalt love with that Great Love
That knows no ending:
For so thy life and his, through thy true thought,
Must overflow with gladness?
Thus did God speak to me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And so my life is calm and undisturbed.
The REAL is REAL—the unreal is not, and can never be.
The Dreamer will awake;
The cloud will vanish in the Eternal Sun.
There is a Light beyond these broken lights,
And nothing is remembered There
But LOVE, and all LOVE'S WAYS!

—From His Way in the Cloud

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