Be not Anxious.

A poem by Hattie Howard

"Be careful for nothing," Phil. iv. 6. Revised version, "Be not anxious."

Of all the precepts in the Book
By word of inspiration given,
That bear the import, tone, and look
Of messages direct from heaven,
From Revelation back to Genesis
Is nothing needed half so much as this.

Ah, well the great apostle spake
In admonition wise and kind,
Who bade humanity forsake
The petty weaknesses that bind
The spirit like a bird with pinioned wings,
That to a broken bough despairing clings.

Were all undue anxiety
Eliminated from desire,
Could feverish fears and fancies be
Consum├Ęd on some funeral pyre,
Like holy hecatomb or sacrifice,
'Twould be accepted up in Paradise.

Could this machinery go on
Without the friction caused by fret,
What greater loads were lightly drawn,
More easily were trials met;
Then might existence be with blessings rife,
And lengthened out like Hezekiah's life.

Oh, be not anxious; trouble grows
When cherished like a secret grief;
It is the worm within the rose
That eats the heart out leaf by leaf;
And though the outer covering be fair,
The weevil of decay is busy there.

In deep despondency to pine,
Or vain solicitude,
Is to deny this truth divine
That God is great and good;
That he is Ruler over earth and Heaven,
And so disposes and makes all things even.

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