True life

“Have we not all, amid life’s petty strife,
Some pure ideal of a noble life
That once seemed possible? Did we not hear
The flutter of its wings and feel it near,
And just within our reach? It was. And yet
We lost it in this daily jar and fret,
And now live idle in vain regret;
But still our place is kept, and it will wait,
Ready for us to fill it, soon or late.
No star is ever lost we once have seen,
We always may be what we might have been.
Since good, tho’ only thought, has life and breath,
God’s life – can always be redeemed from death;
And evil, in its nature, is decay,
And any hour can blot it all away;
The hopes that, lost, in some far distance seem,
May be the truer life, and this the dream.”

The Ghost in the Picture Room by Adelaide Anne Proctor, in “The Haunted House” by Charles Dickens.

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