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Publicans and Sinners
I have not pitied those whose lives were sin,
And shame and sorrow, pain and poverty,
Not half so much as those whose even way
Leads changeless onward, dull and stark and gray.
For I have seen them on a winter night
Make friends of foes and hold high revelry
While those whose souls were upward bound to God
Have passed each other by without a nod.
Gamblers, drunkards, prostitutes and thieves,
Look with what pious pains we plot their doom!
With what religions and what governments
We conjure, to deny them standing room!
And like the Pharisee we still condemn
The Christ who pours out wine, or weeps with them.
Elizabeth N. Barr