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"Put away lying:" this the preacher's text,
When a fair Sunday crowded every pew.
He preached so close that "What is coming next?"
Kept both bare heads and bonnets all askew.

Lies of all kinds he deftly classified,
Giving the forms and colors of each class.
Where was the hearer, then, that had not lied;
Who could not somewhere find his looking-glass?

Lies of good nature, pity, courtesy,
Revenge and malice, slander, envy, fear;
The lies of business and of policy,
And lies political, told once a year.

But, at the sermon's close, the preacher leant
Over the pulpit with close-folded arms
And such a gracious smile, as if it meant
To balm the conscience pricked with truth's alarms.

"But I do fondly trust, my people dear,
These subtle sins are found not at your door!
This said; a butt of slander whispered clear,
"That lie beats everything that went before!

poem by from Century Magazine, vol. 47 (1894)Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Veronica Serbanoiu
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