The Narrow Way

~by Anne Bronte

Believe not those who say
     The upward path is smooth,
Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way,
     And faint before the truth.

It is the only road
     Unto the realms of joy;
But he who seeks that blest abode
     Must all his powers employ.

Bright hopes and pure delights
     Upon his course may beam,
And there, amid the sternest heights
     The sweetest flowerets gleam.

On all her breezes borne,
     Earth yields no scents like those;
But he that dares not grasp the thorn
     Should never crave the rose.

Arm—arm thee for the fight!
     Cast useless loads away;
Watch through the darkest hours of night,
     Toil through the hottest day.

Crush pride into the dust,
     Or thou must needs be slack;
And trample down rebellious lust,
     Or it will hold thee back.

Seek not thy honor here;
     Waive pleasure and renown;
The world’s dread scoff undaunted bear,
     And face its deadliest frown.

To labor and to love,
     To pardon and endure,
To lift thy heart to God above,
     And keep thy conscience pure;

Be this thy constant aim,
     Thy hope, thy chief delight;
What matter who should whisper blame,
     Or who should scorn or slight?

What matter, if thy God approve,
     And if, within thy breast,
Thou feel the comfort of His love,
     The earnest of His rest?


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