The Narrow Way

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The Narrow Way
by Anne Brontë
Published in Fraser's Magazine, December 1848. Reprinted in Selections from the literary remains of Emily and Anne Brontë (1850).

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 treasure here;
Waive pleasure and renown;
The World's dread scoff undaunted bear,
And face its deadliest frown.

To labour 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 and thy delight,
What matters who should whisper blame,
Or who should scorn or slight?

What matters - if thy God approve,
And if within thy breast,
Thou feel the comfort of his love,
The earnest of his rest?

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.