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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Cheerfulness Taught by Reason

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)

I THINK we are too ready with complaint

In this fair world of God’s. Had we no hope

Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope

Of yon gray blank of sky, we might be faint

To muse upon eternity’s constraint

Round our aspirant souls. But since the scope

Must widen early, is it well to droop

For a few days consumed in loss and taint?

O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted,—

And like a cheerful traveler, take the road,

Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread

Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod

To meet the flints?—At least it may be said,

“Because the way is short, I thank thee, God!”