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“It Is Glory Enough”

I read this poem tonight and was taken with its spirit. I don’t know authorial intent, but it strikes me as a compelling portrait of life lived without regard for the shifting winds of public opinion, standing for God’s truth regardless of the cost.

“It Is Glory Enough”

IT is glory enough to have shouted the name
Of the living God in the teeth of an army of foes;
To have thrown all prudence and forethought away
And for once to have followed the call of the soul
Out into the danger of darkness, of ruin and death.
To have counselled with right, not success, for once,
Is glory enough for one day.

It is glory enough for one day
To have marched out alone before the seats of the scornful,
Their fingers all pointing your way;
To have felt and wholly forgotten the branding-iron of their eyes;
To have stood up proud and reliant on only your soul
And go calmly on with your duty —
It is glory enough.

It is glory enough to have taken the perilous risk;
Instead of investing in stocks and paid-up insurance for one,
To have fitted a cruiser for right to adventure a sea full of shoals;
To sail without chart and with only the stars for a guide;
To have dared to lose with all the chances for losing
Is glory enough.

It is glory enough for one day
To have dreamed the bright dream of the reign of right;
To have fastened your faith like a flag to that immaterial staff
And have marched away, forgetting your base of supplies.
And while the worldly wise see nothing but shame and ignoble retreat,
And though far ahead the heart may faint and the flesh prove weak —
To have dreamed that bold dream is glory enough,
Is glory enough for one day.

–          William Herbert Carruth

“Reliant on only your soul” may be taken as a sort of self-reliance which minimizes God, but it could be taken in terms of standing alone, without the support of others (like, e.g., Daniel, his three friends or Martin Luther). Count me in for fitting a “cruiser for right,” considering what is right and not just what will succeed, and standing for the name of God regardless of the contempt of the worldly wise. That will certainly be glory enough.

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