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15. PITY.

To Christ in his temptation Satan said:

"God's world is made a dwelling of the dead.
Blood flows from wounds, on battle-fields it lies,
Where'er I gaze, are tear-besprinkled eyes.
Sires, brethren, mothers, Death in his frenzy hales,
Ships are destroyed, huts dragged away by gales.
Fire mars the work of man, if so it wills.
Earth trembles . . . Who shall count the tale of ills
That upon man and his great labour prey?
He builds, and someone plucks it all away.
He yearns to live, and chokes in someone's snare.
Here poison flows, — a blade is whetted there.
There, from the pit of havoc, vapours drift;
Sickness, destruction, ruin, are man's gift.
God gave naught else." Christ's upturned eyes were grave:
Softly he murmured: "Pity, too, he gave."

“Thorns from Parnassus” (1892).