by St. Clair Adams
Thinking you would like a square meal will not in itself earn you one.
Thinking you would like a strong body will not without effort on your
part make you an athlete. Thinking you would like to be kind or
successful will not bring you gentleness or achievement if you stop with
mere thinking. The arrows of intention must have the bow of strong
purpose to impel them.
The road to hell, they assure me,
With good intentions is paved;
And I know my desires are noble,
But my deeds might brand me depraved.
It's the warped grain in our nature,
And St. Paul has written it true:
"The good that I would I do not;
But the evil I would not I do."
I've met few men who are monsters
When I came to know them inside;
Yet their bearing and dealings external
Are crusted with cruelty, pride,
Scorn, selfishness, envy, indifference,
Greed - why the long list pursue?
The good that they would they do not;
But the evil they would not they do.
Intentions may still leave us beast-like;
With unchangeable purpose we're men.
We must drive the nail home - and then clinch it
Or storms shake it loose again.
In things of great import, in trifles,
We our recreant souls must subdue
Till the evil we would not we do not
And the good that we would we do.