Are you coming up or going down?

prettylittleliarssmh021411

~~~

The Ladder of Saint Augustine

by

H. W. Longfellow

~~~

Saint Augustine! well hast thou said

That of our vices we can frame

A ladder, if we will but tread

Beneath our feet each deed of shame.

~

All common things, each day’s events,

That with the hour begin and end,

Our pleasures and our discontents,

Are rounds by which we may ascend.

~

The low desire, the base design,

That makes another’s virtues less;

The revel of the ruddy wine,

And all occasions of excess;

~

The longing for ignoble things;

The strife for triumph more than truth;

The hardening of the heart, that brings

Irreverence for the dreams of youth;

~

All thoughts of ill; all evil deeds,

That have their root in thoughts of ill;

Whatever hinders or impedes

The action of the nobler will ~

~

All these must first be trampled down

Beneath our feet, if we would gain

In the bright fields of fair renown

The right of eminent domain.

~

We have not wings, we cannot soar;

But we have feet to scale and climb

By slow degrees, by more and more,

The cloudy summits of our time.

~

The mighty pyramids of stone

That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,

When nearer seen, and better known,

Are but gigantic flights of stairs.

~

The distant mountains, that uprear

Their solid bastions to the skies,

Are crossed by pathways, that appear

As we to higher levels rise.

~

The heights by great men reached and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight,

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.

~

Standing on what too long we bore

With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,

We may discern ~ unseen before ~

A path to higher destinies.

~

Nor deem the irrevocable Past

As wholly wasted, wholly vain,

If, rising on its wrecks, at last

To something nobler we attain.

~~~

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~~~

Artwork:

Pretty Little Liars

St. Augustine

~~~

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