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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Higher Good

By Theodore Parker (1810–1860)

FATHER, I will not ask for wealth or fame,

Though once they would have joyed my carnal sense:

I shudder not to bear a hated name,

Wanting all wealth, myself my sole defence.

But give me, Lord, eyes to behold the truth;

A seeing sense that knows the eternal right;

A heart with pity filled, and gentlest ruth;

A manly faith that makes all darkness light:

Give me the power to labor for mankind;

Make me the mouth of such as cannot speak;

Eyes let me be to groping men and blind;

A conscience to the base; and to the weak

Let me be hands and feet; and to the foolish, mind;

And lead still further on such as thy kingdom seek.