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HOW WE LEARN
Great truths are dearly bought. The common truth,
Such as men give and take from day to day,
Comes in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.
Great truths are greatly won; not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
Not in the general mart, ‚mid corn and wine;
Not in the merchandise of gold and gems;
Not in the world’s gay hall of midnight mirth:
Nor ‚mid the blaze of regal diadems:
But in the day of conflict, fear and grief,
When the strong hand of God puts forth in might,
Ploughs up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.
Wrung from the troubled spirit in hard hours
Of weakness, solitude, perchance of pain,
Truth springs, like harvest, from the well-plowed fields,
And the soul feels that it has not wept in vain.
— February, 1886 —