A Lesson for Future Life.

Every present holds a future in it,1
Could we read its bosom secret right,2
Could we see the golden clue and win it,3
Lay our hand to work with heart and might.4
True it is we shall not live in story,5
But we may be waves within a tide,6
Help the human flood to near the glory,7
That shall shine when we have toil’d and died.8
Therefore, though few praise or help or heed us,9
Let us work—with head, or heart, or hand,10
For we know the future ages need us,11
We must help our time to take its stand.12
That the after day may make beginning13
Where our present labour hath its end ;14
So each age, by that before it winning,15
To the following help in turn shall lend.16
Each single struggle hath its far vibration,17
Working results that work results again ;18
Failure and death are no annihilation,19
Our tears, absorb’d, will make some future rain.20
Let us toil on ; the work we leave behind us,21
Though incomplete, God’s hand will yet embalm,22
And use it some way : and the news will find us23
In heaven above, and sweeten endless calm.24