There are three lessons I would write, —
Three words — as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light
Upon the hearts of men.
Have Hope. Though clouds environ now,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put thou the shadow from thy brow, —
No night but hath its morn.
Have Faith. Where’er thy bark is driven, —
The calm’s disport, the tempest’s mirth, —
Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,
The habitants of earth.
Have Love. Not love alone for one,
But men, as man, thy brothers call;
And scatter, like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.
Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
Strength when life’s surges rudest roll,
Light when thou else wert blind.
J.C. Friedrich von Schiller, Hope, Faith, and Love (c. 1786);
also known as “The Words of Strength”