Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
Gamaliel Bradford (1863–1932)
I’VE been a hopeless sinner, but I understand a saint,
Their bend of weary knees and their contortions long and faint,
And the endless pricks of conscience, like a hundred thousand pins,
A real perpetual penance for imaginary sins.
I love to wander widely, but I understand a cell,        5
Where you tell and tell your beads because you’ve nothing else to tell,
Where the crimson joy of flesh, with all its wild fantastic tricks,
Is forgotten in the blinding glory of the crucifix.
I cannot speak for others, but my inmost soul is torn
With a battle of desires making all my life forlorn.        10
There are moments when I would untread the paths that I have trod.
I’m a haunter of the devil, but I hunger after God.


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