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And, sharp as truth, the contrast draw
Of human frailty and perfect law;
Possessed by the one dread thought that lent
Its goad to his fiery temperament,
Up and down the world he went,
A John the Baptist crying, Repent!
No perfect whole can our nature make;
Here or there the circle will break;
The orb of life as it takes the light
On one side leaves the other in night.
Never was saint so good and great
As to give no chance at St. Peter's gate
For the plea of the Devil's advocate.
So, incomplete by his being's law,
The marvellous preacher had his flaw;
With step unequal, and lame with faults,
His shade on the path of History halts.
Wisely and well said the Eastern bard:
Fear is easy, but love is hard,—
Easy to glow with the Santon's rage,
And walk on the Meccan pilgrimage;
But he is greatest and best who can
Worship Allah by loving man.
Thus he,—to whom, in the painful stress
Of zeal on fire from its own excess,
Heaven seemed so vast and earth so small
That man was nothing, since God was all,—
Forgot, as the best at times have done,
That the love of the Lord and of man are one.
Little to him whose feet unshod
The thorny path of the desert trod,
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