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This Is All

by Alice Cary

Trying, trying -- always trying --
Falling down to save a fall;
Living by the dint of dying, --
This is all!

Giving, giving -- always giving --
Gathering just abroad to cast;
Dying by the dint of living
At the last!

Sighing, smiling -- smiling, sighing --
Sun in shade, and shade in sun;
Dying, living -- living, dying --
Both in one!

Hoping in our very fearing,
Striving hard against our strife;
Drifting in the stead of steering, --
This is life!

Seeming to believe in seeming,
Half disproving, to approve;
Knowing that we dream, in dreaming, --
This is love!

Being in our weakness stronger, --
Living where there is no breath;
Feeling harm can harm no longer, --
This is death


Source:

Ballads, Lyrics, And Hymns
Copyright 1874
New York: Hurd And Houghton