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Requirement (Poem)

What asks our Father of His children save
Justice and mercy and humility,
A reasonable service of good deeds,
Pure living, tenderness to human needs,
Reverence, and trust, and prayer for light to see
The Master’s footprints in our daily ways?
No knotted scourge, nor sacrificial knife,
But the calm beauty of an ordered life
Whose every breathing is unworded praise.

—Selected from "Requirement" by John Greenleaf Whittier

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John Greenleaf Whittier

  • Born on December 17th, 1807 in Haverhill, Massachusetts and died on September 7th, 1892 in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.
  • American poet Active in the anti-slavery movement Most popular work is "Snow-Bound"
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