The Choice

Life, come to me in no pale guise and ashen,
I care not for thee in such placid fashion!
I would share widely, Life,
In all thy joy and strife,
Would sound thy deeps and reach thy highest passion,
With thy delight and with thy suffering rife.

Whether I bide with thee in cot or palace,
I would drink deeply, Life, of thy great chalice,
Even to its bitter lees­
Yea, shrinking not from these,
Since out of bitterness come strength and solace
And wisdom is not won in slumberous ease.

Wan peace, uncolored days, were a poor favor;
To lack great pain and love were to lack savor.
Life, take the heart of me
And fill it brimmingly,
No matter with what poignant brew or flavor,
So that it may not shrunk and empty be.

Yea, Life, thus would I live, nor play at living,
The best of me for thy best gladly giving,
With an unfaltering cheer,
Greeting thee year by year,
Even in thy dourest mood some good achieving,
Until I read thy deep-hid meaning clear.

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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