An Epitaph (Davies)

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An Epitaph
written by William Henry Davies
From "A Poet's Calendar", 1927 Link to further information




Beneath this stone lies one good man; and when
We say his kindly thought towards all men
Was as generous to the living as to the dead -
What more for any mortal could be said?
His only enemies were those he tried
To help, and failed; who blamed him, in their pride,
Forgetting that his power was not as great
As his intention - and their own weak state.
And if he met with men too slow to move
Into the fullness of his own clear love,
He looked for the fault in his own self, and not
Blamed other men - like our more common lot.
His boundless trust and innocence of evil
Tempted the base and mean, and helped the devil.
Since such a man, without suspicion, kind,
Was duped by many a false, ungrateful mind,
He's gone to Heaven - because he lived so well
That many a wretch through him has gone to hell.


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