289. The Spirit Giveth Life

’Tis not the gift, but ’tis the spirit
With which ’tis given,
That on the gift confers a merit,
As seen by Heaven.

’Tis not the prayer, however boldly
It strikes the ear;
It mounts in vain, it falls but coldly
If not sincere.

’Tis not the deeds the loudest lauded
That brightest shine;
There’s many a virtue unapplauded,
And yet divine.

’Tis not the word that sounds the sweetest
That’s soonest heard;
A sigh, when humbled thou retreatest,
May be preferred.

The outward show may be delusive,—
A cheating name;
The inner spirit is conclusive
Of worth or shame.

Text Information
First Line: 'Tis not the gift, but 'tis the spirit
Title: The Spirit Giveth Life
Author: Bowring
Meter: 4s. M.
Language: English
Publication Date: 1866
Tune Information
(No tune information)

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