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Poem by Arthur Conan Doyle


Songs of the Road (1911). 16. Religio Medici


1

God's own best will bide the test,
     And God's own worst will fall;
But, best or worst or last or first,
     He ordereth it all.

2

For all is good, if understood,
     (Ah, could we understand!)
And right and ill are tools of skill
     Held in His either hand.

3

The harlot and the anchorite,
     The martyr and the rake,
Deftly He fashions each aright,
     Its vital part to take.

4

Wisdom He makes to form the fruit
     Where the high blossoms be;
And Lust to kill the weaker shoot,
     And Drink to trim the tree.

5

And Holiness that so the bole
     Be solid at the core;
And Plague and Fever, that the whole
     Be changing evermore.

6

He strews the microbes in the lung,
     The blood-clot in the brain;
With test and test He picks the best,
     Then tests them once again.

7

He tests the body and the mind,
     He rings them o'er and o'er;
And if they crack, He throws them back,
     And fashions them once more.

8

He chokes the infant throat with slime,
     He sets the ferment free;
He builds the tiny tube of lime
     That blocks the artery.

9

He lets the youthful dreamer store
     Great projects in his brain,
Until He drops the fungus spore
     That smears them out again.

10

He stores the milk that feeds the babe,
     He dulls the tortured nerve;
He gives a hundred joys of sense
     Where few or none might serve.

11

And still He trains the branch of good
     Where the high blossoms be,
And wieldeth still the shears of ill
     To prune and prime His tree.



Arthur Conan Doyle


Arthur Conan Doyle's other poems:
  1. Songs of the Road (1911). 8. The Outcasts
  2. Songs of the Road (1911). 17. Man's Limitation
  3. Songs of the Road (1911). 4. A Post-Impressionist
  4. Songs of the Road (1911). 27. Sexagenarius Loquitur
  5. The Guards Came Through (1919). 2. Victrix


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