Pride and Conscience

By George Sterling

Considering the mystery of pain,
    I walked one day, when lo I in rags awry,
    Awrench and gnarled, a hunchback shambled by;
Whereat, "In what far certitude of gain
Dost Thou debase Thine image, and disdain
    Our hearts that love the beautiful?" asked I.
    "Wilt Thou in Thy derision, O Most High!
Like kings of old keep monsters in Thy train?"

Also I said, "The shadows of Thy whole
    And dreadful plan are witness of the light,
        And strict concern of relativity."
    So came, unerring as the sunbeam's flight,
The indignant challenge of mine undersoul:
        "Nay! who is straight in God's sight—thou
            or he?"

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