GET leave to work
In this world—’tis the best you get at all;
For God, in cursing, gives us better gifts
Than men in benediction. God says, “Sweat
For foreheads,” men say “crowns,” and so we are
Ay, gashed by some tormenting circle of steel
Which snaps with a secret spring. Get work, get work;
Be sure ’tis better than what you work to get.
Elizabeth B. Browning
THERE is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in work. Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works: in idleness alone there is perpetual despair. Work, never so mammonish, mean, is in communication with nature; the real desire to get work done will itself lead one more and more to truth, to nature’s appointments and regulations, which are truth. The latest gospel in the world is, know thy work, and do it.
I HAVE always taught, and do teach, and shall teach, I doubt not, till I die, that in resolving to do our work well is the only sound foundation of any religion whatsoever.