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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Poems. II. “This did not once so trouble me”

Richard Chenevix Trench (1807–1886)

THIS did not once so trouble me,

That better I could not love Thee;

But now I feel and know

That only when we love, we find

How far our hearts remain behind

The love they should bestow.

While we had little care to call

On Thee, and scarcely prayed at all,

We seemed enough to pray:

But now we only think with shame,

How seldom to Thy glorious Name

Our lips their offerings pay.

And when we gave yet slighter heed

Unto our brother’s suffering need,

Our hearts reproached us then

Not half so much as now, that we

With such a careless eye can see

The woes and wants of men.

In doing is this knowledge won,

To see what yet remains undone;

With this our pride repress,

And give us grace, a growing store,

That day by day we may do more,

And may esteem it less.