Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
A Woman Sold; and Other Poems (1867)
I. To One of Many
By Augusta Webster (1840–1894)
 
WHAT! wilt thou throw thy stone of malice now,
Thou dare to scoff at him with scorn or blame?
He is a thousand times more great than thou;
Thou, with thy narrower mind and lower aim,
Wilt thou chide him and not be checked by shame?        5
 
He hath done evil—God forbid my sight
Should falter where I gaze with loving eye,
That I should fail to know the wrong from right.
He hath done evil—let not any tie
Of birth or love draw moral sense awry.        10
 
And though my trust in him is yet full strong
I may not hold him guiltless, in the dream
That wrong forgiven is no longer wrong,
And, looking on his error, fondly deem
That he in that he erreth doth but seem.        15
 
I do not sooth me with a vain belief;
He hath done evil, therefore is my thought
Of him made sadness with no common grief.
But thou, what good or truth has in thee wrought
That thou shouldst hold thee more than him in aught?        20
 
He will redeem his nature, he is great
In inward purpose past thy power to scan,
And he will bear his meed of evil fate
And lift him from his fall a nobler man,
Hating his error as a great one can.        25
 
And what art thou to look on him and say
‘Ah! he has fallen whom they praised, but know
My foot is sure’? Upon thy level way
Are there the perils of the hills of snow?
Yea, he has fallen, but wherefore art thou low?        30
 
Speak no light word of him, for he is more
Than thou canst know—and ever more to me,
Though he has lessened the first faith I bore,
Than thou in thy best deeds couldst ever be;
Yea, though he fall again, not low like thee.        35
 
 
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