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

Charles Francis Richardson (1851–1913)


A HUNDRED noble wishes fill my heart:

I long to help each soul in need of aid;

In all good works my zeal would have its part,

Before no weight of toil it stands afraid.

But noble wishes are not noble deeds,

And he does least who seeks to do the whole:

Who works the best, his simplest duties heeds;

Who moves the world, first moves a single soul.

Then go, my heart, thy plainest work begin;

Do first not what thou canst, but what thou must;

Build not upon a corner-stone of sin,

Nor seek great works until thou first be just.