Among the Millet

by Archibald Lampman


 

DEEDS


 

íTis well with words, oh masters, ye have sought,
    To turn menís eyes yearning to the great and true,
    Yet first take heed to what your own hands do;
By deeds not words the souls of men are taught;
Good lives alone are fruitful; they are caught                               5
    Into the fountain of all life (wherethrough
    Menís souls that drink are broken or made new)
Like drops of heavenly elixir, fraught
   With the clear essence of eternal youth.
    Even one little deed of weak untruth                                     10
        Is like a drop of quenchless venom cast,
A liquid thread, into lifeís feeding stream,
Woven forever with its crystal gleam,
        Bearing the seed of death and woe at last.