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James Montgomery

Gifts.--I Cor. xiii.

Could I command with voice or pen

The tongues of Angels and of men,

A tinkling cymbal, sounding brass

My speech and preaching would surpass;

Vain were such eloquence to me

Without the grace of Charity.

Could I the martyr's flame endure,

Give all my goods to feed the poor;

Had I the faith from Alpine steep

To hurl the mountain to the deep,

What were such zeal, such power to me

Without the grace of Charity?

Could I behold with prescient eye

Things future as the things gone by;

Could all earthly knowledge scan,

And mete out heaven with a span,

Poor were the chief of gifts to me

Without the chiefest--Charity.

Charity suffers long, is kind,

Charity bears a humble mind,

Rejoices not when ills befall,

But glories in the weal of all;

She hopes, believes, and envies not,

Nor vaunts, nor murmurs o'er her lot.

The tongues of teachers shall be dumb,

Prophets discern not things to come,


Knowledge shall vanish out of thought,

And miracles no more be wrought,

But Charity shall never fail,

Her anchor is within the veil.

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