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Poem by Thomas Wentworth Higginson

To Duty

LIGHT of dim mornings; shield from heat and cold;
Balm for all ailments; substitute for praise;
Comrade of those who plod in lonely ways
(Ways that grow lonelier as the years wax old);
Tonic for fears; check to the over-bold;
Nurse, whose calm hand its strong restriction lays,
Kind but resistless, on our wayward days;
Mart, where high wisdom at vast price is sold;
Gardener, whose touch bids the rose-petals fall,
The thorns endure; surgeon, who human hearts
Searchest with probes, though the death-touch be given;
Spell that knits friends, but yearning lovers parts;
Tyrant relentless o'er our blisses all;--
Oh, can it be, thine other name is Heaven? 

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Thomas Wentworth Higginson's other poems:
  1. The Trumpeter
  2. Decoration
  3. The Baby Sorceress
  4. The Snowing of the Pines
  5. Ode to a Butterfly

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