Temperance

A new year poem that questions the past year - has it been positive or has it been negative. The Poet gives us verses to reflect upon when thinking about the year past and the year to come.



Temperance
Poet: Maria J Dodge

My friends, I stand before you
To ask a question plain, —
Has the year that's passed so quickly
Been a year of loss, or gain?

Have you lost fraternal feeling
For a sister or a brother?
Have you lost the art of healing
The sorrows of another?

Have you lost those precious jewels
Which we call the virtues three,
Which in our hearts we cherish, —
The gems of Faith, Hope, Charity?

Have you no Faith in friendship
Which binds our hearts together,
And makes our lives so sunny,
No matter what the weather?

Have you no Hope for future good,
No hope that times will brighten?
If each should do the best he could.
Some burden you might lighten.

Have you lost Charity, that greatest gift,
God-given to us all.
The charity that bids us help
All creatures great or small?

Again I ask the question.
And I make it very plain, —
Has the year that's passed so quickly
Been a year of loss, or gain?

Have you not gained one little thought
To help you on your way.
E'en though the path be strewn with thorns
What have you, friends, to say?

I think I hear you saying
That the year has not been lost.
Although you've been discouraged.
And sometimes tempest-tost;

You have not lost the feeling
Of fraternal brotherhood,
Nor e'en the art of healing,
And doing others good;

That our jewels have been cherished
Within your inmost heart;
That none of them have perished.
Then choose the better part,

And keep your Faith in all men.
When possible so to do.
And then you'll find that others' faith
Will stronger grow for you.

And Hope, sweet Hope, her light shall shine
Across your lonely way.
And warm within your heart shall glow
Her sweet and cheering ray.

And Charity, that gentle one
Who leads our hearts above.
And makes us all the happier
For cherishing her love.

Will cover over many a sin.
And many a heart shall soften,
So that at last we all may win
The right to heaven; and may we often

Pause, while on through life we hasten,
To think of others and to try
Some other hearts to lighten;
And with each other we shall vie

To make some heavy heart grow light,
And hope shine forth anew,
That others' paths may be more bright.
This work we have to do.

Again I ask you. Has this year
Been a year of loss, or gain;
If we've tried to banish some one's fear,
Or soothe a bed of pain?

God grant that, as the years roll on.
We all shall choose the right;
And all look down with sweet content
From heaven's eternal height!

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