23. The Brand of Cain

I BEAR upon my brow the sign
   Of sorrow and of pain;
Alas! no hopeful cross is mine,
   It is the brand of Cain.

The course of passion, and the fret
   Of godless hope and fear,—
Toil, care, and guilt,—their hues have set,
   And fix'd their sternness there.

Saviour! wash out the imprinted shame;
   That I no more may pine,
Sin's martyr, though not meet to claim
   Thy cross, a saint of Thine.

November 18, 1832.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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