Oliver Wendell Holmes

(1809-1894 / United States)

St. Anthony The Reformer


HIS TEMPTATION

No fear lest praise should make us proud!
We know how cheaply that is won;
The idle homage of the crowd
Is proof of tasks as idly done.

A surface-smile may pay the toil
That follows still the conquering Right,
With soft, white hands to dress the spoil
That sun-browned valor clutched in fight.

Sing the sweet song of other days,
Serenely placid, safely true,
And o'er the present's parching ways
The verse distils like evening dew.

But speak in words of living power,--
They fall like drops of scalding rain
That plashed before the burning shower
Swept o' er the cities of the plain!

Then scowling Hate turns deadly pale,--
Then Passion's half-coiled adders spring,
And, smitten through their leprous mail,
Strike right and left in hope to sting.

If thou, unmoved by poisoning wrath,
Thy feet on earth, thy heart above,
Canst walk in peace thy kingly path,
Unchanged in trust, unchilled in love,--

Too kind for bitter words to grieve,
Too firm for clamor to dismay,
When Faith forbids thee to believe,
And Meekness calls to disobey,--

Ah, then beware of mortal pride!
The smiling pride that calmly scorns
Those foolish fingers, crimson dyed
In laboring on thy crown of thorns!

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (St. Anthony The Reformer by Oliver Wendell Holmes )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Blue Octavo Haiku, Rachel Todd Wetzsteon
  2. Algonquin Afterthoughts, Rachel Todd Wetzsteon
  3. After Eden, Rachel Todd Wetzsteon
  4. Because We Closed Our Eyes, A.j. Binash
  5. three, laxami Cards
  6. For Colin McCahon [NZ Painter: 1919 -1987], Keith Johnson
  7. Why I never visited NZ from OZ in 1970, Keith Johnson
  8. Dark Lady, Keith Johnson
  9. Naboth's vineyard, Gert Strydom
  10. Those Girls, Keith Johnson

Poem of the Day

poet Edgar Allan Poe

Kind solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not (now) my theme-
I will not madly deem that power
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Jacques Prevert

 

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]