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40 Line Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Nobility by Alice Cary
  2. The Kiss at the Door by Lydia H. Tilton

  1. Nobility

    True worth is in being, not seeming,—

    - Alice Cary
    by Alice Cary | Total Words: 274, Lines: 40

    True worth is in being, not seeming,—
    In doing, each day that goes by,
    Some little good—not in dreaming
    Of great things to do by and by.
    For whatever men say in their blindness,
    And spite of the fancies of youth,
    There’s nothing so kingly as kindness,
    And nothing so royal as truth.

    We get back our meet as we measure—
    We cannot do wrong and feel right,
    Nor can we give pain and gain pleasure,
    For justice avenges each slight.
    The air for the wing of the sparrow,
    The bush for the robin and wren,
    But always the path that is narrow
    And straight, for the children of men.

    ‘Tis not in the pages of story
    The heart of its ills to begulie,
    Though he who makes courtship to glory
    Gives all that he hath for her smile.
    For when from her heights he has won her,
    Alas it is only to prove
    That nothing’s so sacred as honor,
    And nothing so loyal as love!

    We cannot make bargains for blisses,
    Nor catch them like fishes in nets;
    And sometimes the thing our life misses
    Helps more than the thing which it gets.
    For good lieth not in pursuing,
    Nor gaining of great nor of small,
    But just in the doing, and doing
    As we would be done by, is all.

    Through envy, through malice, through hating,
    Against the world, early and late,
    No jot of our courage abating—
    Our part is to work and wait.
    And slight is the sting of his trouble
    Whose winnings are less than his worth;
    For he who is honest and noble,
    Whatever his fortunes or birth.

  2. The Kiss at the Door

    by Lydia H. Tilton

    Nay, darling, I cannot love thee
    As the morning we were wed;
    Too fondly my heart is nurtured
    Too much on love's manna fed,
    To shrink to the old-time measure,
    Although I scarcely know
    How love that the years have strengthened,
    Found so much room to grow.

    I know when the whispered "Darling,"
    First woke to happier life,
    The heart that since has listened
    To the added word of wife;
    I fancied the very angels
    Could not have loved you more,
    But now a love far greater,
    Shall kiss you at the door.

    I know you are often weary
    With business cares and strife,
    But you always bring home sunshine
    And blessings to your wife;
    Each trial but serves to strengthen
    The bond that was strong before,
    And I watch, as the shadows lengthen,
    To kiss you at the door.

    Our God is love, my darling,
    He plants with many flowers
    The paths in which his children
    Must pass their earthly hours;
    Our path grows each day brighter,
    With light from the unseen shore,
    And gratefully I linger
    To kiss you at the door.

    Each life has its minor cadence;
    The sad with the sweet must blend;
    And even to heart communings
    Come whisperings of the end;
    But, oh, if the angels call me
    First to the shining shore,
    I will watch and wait to welcome
    And kiss you at the door.

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