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Though we climb fame's proudest height,
Though we sit on hills afar,
Where the thrones of triumph are--
Though all deepest mysteries be open to our sight--
If we win not by that power,
For the world another dower,
If this great Humanity share not in our gain,
We have lived our life in vain.


Though we revel in sweet dreams,
Though with poet's eye we look
Full on Nature's open book,
And our spirits wander singing with the birds and streams
If we let no music in
To the world of grief and sin,
If we draw no spirit heavenward by the strain
We have lived our life in vain.


Though our lot be calm and bright
Though upon our brows we wear
Youth and grace and beauty rare,
And the hours go swiftly, singing in their flight;
If we let no glory down
Any darkened life to crown,
If our grace and joyance have no ministry for pain,
We have lived our life in vain.


Though for weary years we toil
Though we gather all the gold
From the mines of wealth untold:--
Though from farthest shores of ocean we have brought the spoil,
What then at the last is won,
If we hear not God's "Well done"?
If the world's want and sorrow be not lessened by our gain
We have lived our life in vain.


Though we be, in heart and hand,
Mighty with all foes to cope
Rich in courage and in hope,
Fitted as strong laborers in the world to stand,
If with these we right no wrong
What avails it to be strong?
If we strengthen not the weak, raise not the bowed again
We have lived our life in vain.


To the giver shall be given;
If thou wouldst walk in light
Make other spirits bright.
Who seeking for himself alone, ever entered heaven?
In blessing we are blest,
In labor find our rest
If we bend not, to the world's work, heart and hand and brain
We have lived our life in vain.


Selfishness is utter loss;
Life's most perfect joy and good--
Ah; how few have understood:
Only One hath proved it fully, and he died upon the cross,
Taking on himself the curse
So to bless a Universe.
If we follow not his footsteps through the pathway straight and plain,
We have lived our life in vain.