previous next

[244] And my heart murmured, “Is it meet
That blindfold Nature thus should treat
With equal hand the tares and wheat?”

A presence melted through my mood,—
A warmth, a light, a sense of good,
Like sunshine through a winter wood.

I saw that presence, mailed complete
In her white innocence, pause to greet
A fallen sister of the street.

Upon her bosom snowy pure
The lost one clung, as if secure
From inward guilt or outward lure.

‘Beware!’ I said; “in this I see
No gain to her, but loss to thee:
Who touches pitch defiled must be.”

I passed the haunts of shame and sin,
And a voice whispered, “Who therein
Shall these lost souls to Heaven's peace win

“Who there shall hope and health dispense,
And lift the ladder up from thence
Whose rounds are prayers of penitence?”

I said, “No higher life they know;
These earth-worms love to have it so.
Who stoops to raise them sinks as low.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: