’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.