Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

Man's Mission

Human lives are silent teaching,
Be they earnest, mild, and true
Noble deeds are noblest preaching
From the consecrated Few.
Poet‐Priests their anthems singing,
Hero‐sword on corslet ringing,
When Truth’s banner is unfurled;
Youthful preachers, genius‐gifted,
Pouring forth their souls uplifted,
Till their preaching stirs the world;

Each must work as God has given
Hero hand or poet soul;
Work is duty while we live in
This weird world of sin and dole.
Gentle spirits, lowly kneeling,
Lift their white hands up appealing
To the Throne of Heaven’s King
Stronger natures, culminating,
In great actions incarnating
What another can but sing.

Pure and meek‐eyed as an angel,
We must strive—must agonise;
We must preach the saints’ evangel
Ere we claim the saintly prize.
Work for all, for work is holy,
We fulfil our mission solely
When, like Heaven’s arch above,
Blend our souls in one emblazon,
And the social diapason
Sounds the perfect chord of love.

Life is combat, life is striving,
Such our destiny below;
Like a scythéd chariot driving
Through an onward pressing foe.
Deepest sorrow, scorn, and trial
Will but teach us self‐denial;
Like the alchymists of old,
Pass the ore through cleansing fire
If our spirits would aspire
To be God’s refinéd gold.

We are struggling in the morning
With the spirit of the night;
But we trample on it scorning
Lo! the eastern sky is bright.
We must watch. The day is breaking;
Soon, like Memnon’s statue waking
With the sunrise into sound,
We shall raise our voice to Heaven,
Chant a hymn for conquest given,
Seize the palm, nor heed the wound.

We must bend our thoughts to earnest,
Would we strike the idols down;
With a purpose of the sternest
Take the Cross, and wait the Crown.
Sufferings human life can hallow,
Sufferings lead to God’s Valhalla;
Meekly bear, but nobly try,
Like a man with soft tears flowing,
Like a God with conquest glowing
So to love, and work, and die!
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