[Written for the Sentinel.]

The Mote and the Beam

The darkness in one's self must first be cast out, in order rightly to discern darkness or to reflect Light.—Miscellaneous Writings, p. 131.

Shall we search for the mote, and not for the beam?
Let the mote be as it will!
Shall the fault of our brother unceasingly seem
To our sense like the side of a hill?
And our own darkning beam, like the tiniest gleam
Of the moon in the daintiest rill!

But how can I find, who myself am beam-blind,
The mote with which I'd contend?
I cannot begin by ignoring my sin—
That's a miserable means to an end!
I must first search, and see, and cast out of me,
The mote I behold in my friend.

For an error I hold, be it young, be it old,
No matter how dainty its dress.
Is a wolf in disguise, that when I would rise,
And lift myself out of distress.
Stands grimly before, aye, e'en at the door,
Preventing my road to success.

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Pleasant View in Winter
February 24, 1906

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