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"Others Save With Fear"
by [?]

Some men there are who stand so straight,
So equipoised, that others’ fate
Seems to depend on their behest;
And useless all our every quest
To gain perfection or renown,
Unless we touch the flowing gown
Of these high-priests, whose shadows fall
Within themselves, if fall at all.

Others are not as straight as these,
But more like rough and gnarled trees;
But little beauty they display;
Shadows they cast across the way;
And from them men with scorning turn,
Or, if they speak, their accents burn
Like capsicum on chafed skin,
And leave a smarting wound within.

Once noble men, when turned aside
By fleshly lust or sinful pride,
Each one becomes a broken bell
On which the angry fiends of hell
Ring out their discord, harsh and loud,
As if with demon powers endowed.
Colossal once through grace they were;
Colossal still, though cleft and bare.

On northern rocks is often seen
The impress of some southern sheen,
The brightness of a warmer bloom,
Unknown to winter’s frost and gloom.
The fossil flower of epoch fair
Has left its lasting impress there.
So in some men whose hearts are cold
You find a trace of days of old.

While we deplore the Arctic chill,
The frigid heart, the ice-bound will,
We must admire the fossil trace,
Still seen, of early days of grace.
Hiding from sight as best we can
The traces of the fallen man,
We feast our eyes upon the fair,
Though fossil, lines that linger there.

How to restore is our concern,
As we o’er their declensions mourn.
Can such dire ruin be repaired?
Only if God’s strong arm be bared.
But we must do a brother’s part,
And try to thaw the frozen heart;
Not by the fire of wrath above,
But by the melting coals of love.

As bullets smooth are farther shot,
Because rough angles they have not,
So gentle ways and loving speech
Are sure the erring heart to reach,
While jagged deeds and words unkind,
Like pebbles rough, much friction find;
They fall before they reach the goal,
And seldom help the needy soul.

To truth be loyal, but take a care
That with true zeal tact have a share.
The lightning when it strikes the tree
Runs with the grain, as oft you see;
Those who at angling are adepts,
Choose well their bait and guard their steps;
So if you would the sinner gain,
Bait well your hook, or mark the grain.