‘Tis hard, ‘tis hard, to struggle and fight
Life’s battle here below;
To shun the bad, to choose the right,
To punish with good the envious slight
Of a domineering foe:
To make a name that when we are gone,
Will be blessed, not cursed, by everyone.
‘Tis hard, ‘tis hard to leave off and break
A habit against our will:
To quit a pleasure, destroy a care,
Root out a passion which patience and prayer
And virtue alone can kill:
To kindle hope in a mind which has
But a faint remembrance of what it was.
‘Tis hard, ‘tis hard to live untouched
By calumny’s poisoned breath:
To love in vain, to always feel,
The gnawing tooth and the iron heel
Of long desired death:
If such be my portion, O, great First Cause,
Supply the incentive that heavenward draws.
S.G. Cullybackey, June, 1863