Sunday, March 06, 2016

Ugly Things, Reluctantly Defied

S. Vincent de Paul
by Arthur Christopher Benson


Oh, I have fought a little, but not well;
Laboured a little, not because I would;
Loved ease, and grasped a pleasure where I could;—
Of strenuous deeds I have no tale to tell.

But ugly things, reluctantly defied,
Cankers from roses picked, false fertile weeds
Off-stript, ere they could strew their noisome seeds;—
These are my conquests, with no room for pride.

Oh spiritless heart, thou hast not earned thy rest,
Yet thou art weary; and the dark hours roll,
And tired things flee to some protecting breast!
Yet will I hold my life not vainly spent
If one, but one mute, unconsidered soul
Thro' me be richer, better, more content.

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