Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
VI. Human Experience
Judge Not
Adelaide Anne Procter (1825–1864)
JUDGE not; the workings of his brain
  And of his heart thou canst not see;
What looks to thy dim eyes a stain,
  In God’s pure light may only be
A scar, brought from some well-won field,        5
Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.
The look, the air, that frets thy sight
  May be a token that below
The soul has closed in deadly fight
  With some infernal fiery foe,        10
Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace
And cast thee shuddering on thy face!
The fall thou darest to despise,—
  May be the angel’s slackened hand
Has suffered it, that he may rise        15
  And take a firmer, surer stand;
Or, trusting less to earthly things,
May henceforth learn to use his wings.
And judge none lost; but wait and see,
  With hopeful pity, not disdain;        20
The depth of the abyss may be
  The measure of the height of pain
And love and glory that may raise
This soul to God in after days!

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