28. The Sign of the Cross

WHENE'ER across this sinful flesh of mine
    I draw the Holy Sign,
All good thoughts stir within me, and renew
    Their slumbering strength divine;
Till there springs up a courage high and true
    To suffer and to do.

And who shall say, but hateful spirits around,
    For their brief hour unbound,
Shudder to see, and wail their overthrow?
    While on far heathen ground
Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odour, though
    Its source he cannot know.

November 25, 1832.

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