Lyrics of Life (1909)/Inheritor

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Say not the gods are cruel,
Since man himself is kind—
Man, who could give no tenderness
If, impotent and blind,
He stretched appealing hands on high
No tenderness to find,—

Who, wakened to compassion,
No longer stands apart,
Careless of others' suffering,
But, rather, shares the smart,
Because of pity drawn from out
The Universal Heart,—

Who feels within him glowing
A spark that dares aspire,
Flame-like, unto supernal things,
With never-quenched desire,
And knows that Heaven bestowed on him
A spark of its own fire!