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The Upward Path (Poem)

(On Active Service in Palestine)

God speaks to us,
In every phase of life we hear His voice,
And by our wills, we have a wondrous choice,
For we can listen or by callous mien
Put self between.

If self be first,
Then all the baser side of life is seen.
Hearts that were warm, grow cold—our natures mean,
And human sympathy and love are lost
At what a cost.

To banish self,
Thoughts must be lofty, pure and good. For then
The beauty of a noble life in men
Is seen. And as by fruit the trees are known
So good is shown.

Why should our hearts
Be selfish, cold and cramped to those around,
When by a noble life such joy is found?
Oh! let us then with resolution strong
Combat the wrong.

For in the fight,
We help to banish evil from our life,
Base thoughts and passions which had oft run rife,
Are curbed and conquered, and with hearts made pure
We shall endure.

Our wills then fixed,
With help from God we see the Higher Will,
And by the strength imparted then fulfill
Our self-appointed task, and conquering sin
Real life can win.

Oh! let us then
Fight hard and oft to reach the Heavenly home:
For God Himself, through Christ, has bid us come.
And in the upward walk. let’s give a hand
To those who stand:

To those who stand
Perplexed and troubled by the parting ways:
Who feel so undecided in life’s maze,
But who would soon the upward pathway tread
If rightly led.

Our very lives
Must be as books that can be read by all,
And though we oft may stumble—sometimes fall,
Must ever keep a grip with all our might
On truth and right.

For as we live
We mould or mar the lives of those around.
If true to God, our influence then is sound,
But if thro' carelessness our grip we lose,
Then wrong ensues.

O Christ give strength
To all who strive to follow after Thee,
In thought and word and deed—as it should be,
That they may reach the goal which ends the strife,

—The Higher Life

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Edmund G. Neale

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