Outward And Inward Virtue
'Tis not the gift-but 'tis the spirit
by John Bowring
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 which 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.