103. Pusillanimity

"I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"

HOW didst thou start, Thou Holy Baptist, bid
    To pour repentance on the Sinless Brow!
Then all thy meekness, from thy hearers hid,
    Beneath the Ascetic's port, and Preacher's fire,
Flow'd forth, and with a pang thou didst desire
    He might be chief, not thou.

And so on us at whiles it falls, to claim
    Powers that we dread, or dare some forward part;
Nor must we shrink as cravens from the blame
    Of pride, in common eyes, or purpose deep;
But with pure thoughts look up to God, and keep
    Our secret in our heart.

At Sea
June 22, 1833.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.