Deeds — A Lampman Verse

I’ve been sorting through some Dropbox files and decided to share some of these old verses with you. I feel this verse has relevance for all time. However, I’ve used a bit of poetic license and split his longer lines into the style we’re more familiar with today. A lot easier reading, methinks.

Deeds

by Canadian poet Archibald Lampman  (1861 – 1899)
 
 'Tis well with words,
 oh masters, ye have sought,
 to turn men's eyes, yearning
 to the great and true,
 yet first take heed to what
 your own hands do.

 By deeds, not words
 the souls of men are taught;
 good lives alone are fruitful;
 they are caught
 into the fountain of all life
 where-through men's souls that drink
 are broken
 or made new.
 
Like drops of heavenly elixir
 fraught
 with the clear essence
 of eternal youth;
 even one little deed
 of weak untruth
 is like a drop
 of quenchless venom cast.

 A liquid thread
 into life's feeding stream,
 woven forever
 with its crystal gleam,
 bearing the seed of death
 and woe at last.
Image: Sue Rickhuss — Pixabay

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