Evil Influence

A poem by George MacDonald

'Tis not the violent hands alone that bring
The curse, the ravage, and the downward doom,
Although to these full oft the yawning tomb
Owes deadly surfeit; but a keener sting,
A more immortal agony will cling
To the half fashioned sin which would assume
Fair Virtue's garb; the eye that sows the gloom
With quiet seeds of Death henceforth to spring
What time the sun of passion burning fierce
Breaks through the kindly cloud of circumstance;
The bitter word, and the unkindly glance,
The crust and canker coming with the years,
Are liker Death than arrows and the lance
Which through the living heart at once doth pierce.

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