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Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

Ballade Of The Paid Puritan


In vain with whip and knotted cord
The hirelings of hypocrisy
Would make us comely for the Lord:
Think ye God works through such as ye--
Paid Puritan, plump Pharisee,
And lobbyist fingering his fat bill,
Reeking of rum and bribery:
God needs not you to work His will.

We know you whom you serve, abhorred
Traducers of true piety,
What tarnished gold is your reward
In Washington and Albany;
'Tis not from God you take your fee,
Another's purpose to fulfil,
You that are God's worst enemy:
God needs not you to work His will.

Not by the money-changing horde,
Base traders in the sanctuary,
Nor by fanatic fire and sword,
Shall man grow as God wills him be;
In his own heart a voice hath he
That whispers to him small and still;
God gives him eyes His good to see:
God needs not you to work His will.


ENVOI

Dear Prince, a sinner's honesty
Is more to God, much nearer still,
Than the bribed hypocritic knee:
God needs not you to work His will.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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