Martin Farquhar Tupper

(July 17, 1810 - November 1889 / London)

A Maxim Of Peace


Never have regrets, brother,
But for sake of sin;
The treacherous heart within
All too soon forgets, brother,
How it felt, and was, in thought,
Acting out the thing it ought.

All thy will was well, brother,
Well didst thou deserve;
Circumstance might swerve,
But, the truth to tell, brother,
Consequences none foresee
Never need be cares to thee.

Always for the best, brother,
Hourly hast thou striven;
Though to be forgiven,
This shall be thy test, brother,--
Did not honest zeal obey
Duty's impulse every day?

What seem'd then so right, brother,
Let no censure now,
No unkindly brow,
Damage in thy sight, brother;
Yesterday did what it could;
Scorn not thou its humbler good!

To thyself be true, brother;
Yield not to regret;
Nor thy spirit fret
To do, or to undo, brother,
What is now beyond thy skill;
Facts are facts, do what we will.

Every Present seems, brother,
Girt about with friends;
Every Future sends
Glory to thy dreams, brother;
But we all condemn too fast
The friendless and the hopeless Past.

Scorn not what thou wast, brother,--
Trust not what thou art;
Watch thy coward heart;
Look to that thou hast, brother;
Nothing is within thy power,
But the swiftly passing hour.

Therefore do not set, brother,
Sorrow on the past;
When the die is cast
Never nurse regret, brother:
Only for thy sin be sad,
For all beside be wisely glad!

Submitted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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