The Higher Life

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  To play through life a perfect part,
  Unnoticed and unknown;
  To seek no rest in any heart
  Save only God alone;
  In little things to own no will.
  To have no share in great;
  To find the labor ready still
  And for the crown to wait.

  Upon the brow to bear no trace
  Of more than common care;
  To write no secret in the face
  For men to read it there;
  The daily cross to clasp and bless
  With such familiar zeal
  As hides from all that not the less
  The daily weight you feel;

  In toils that praise will never pay,
  To see your life go past;
  To meet in every coming day
  Twin sister of the last;
  To hear of high heroic things,
  And yield them reverence due,
  But feel life's daily sufferings
  Are far more fit for you;

  To own no secret, soft disguise
  To which self-love is prone,
  Unnoticed by all other eyes,
  Unworthy in your own;
  To yield with such a happy art,
  That no one thinks you care,
  And say to your poor bleeding heart,
  "How little you can bear!"

  O 'tis a pathway hard to choose,
  A struggle hard to share;
  For human pride would still refuse
  The nameless trials there.
  But since we know the gate is low
  That leads to heavenly bliss,
  What higher grace could God bestow
  Than such a life as this?

© Adelaide Anne Procter