Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The Soul’s Errand

By Sir Walter Raleigh

(Written by the English soldier and statesman, 1554?–1618, just before his execution)
GO, Soul, the body’s guest,
  Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
  The truth shall be thy warrant:
    Go, since I needs must die,        5
    And give them all the lie.
Go tell the Court it glows
  And shines like rotten wood;
Go tell the Church it shows
  What’s good, but does no good:        10
    If Court and Church reply
    Give Court and Church the lie.
Tell Potentates they live
  Acting, but oh! their actions;
Not loved, unless they give,        15
  Nor strong but by their factions:
    If Potentates reply,
    Give Potentates the lie.
Tell men of high condition,
  That rule affairs of state,        20
Their purpose is ambition;
  Their practice only hate:
    And if they do reply,
    Then give them all the lie.…
Tell Physic of her boldness;        25
  Tell Skill it is pretension;
Tell Charity of coldness;
  Tell Law it is contention:
    And if they yield reply,
    Then give them all the lie.…        30
So when thou hast, as I
  Commanded thee, done blabbing;
Although to give the lie
  Deserves no less than stabbing:
    Yet stab at thee who will,        35
    No stab the Soul can kill.

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