Preaching in Melbourne this week, the Rev. Griffith Roberts said: "Nothing breaks the morale of Christian life more than living in an interminable atmosphere of despair. Despair is the devil's favorite tool."
"Alas!" said the devil, said he to me -- And his swart face drooped with care -- "Life is a liar, a cheat," said he "And the end of it all -- despair. Why mourn you here, poor pawn of the Fates? The way lies ready: the hemlock waits. And I'll give you a toast ere you seek release: 'To Death, the gentleman, crowned with peace'!" "Have done, smart devil!" I made reply. "Have done with your air of gloom. The world seemed dreary for such as I Ere you came into the room. I was ready, I own, for the crowning sin, But your foolish babbling makes me grin. Yet the poisoned cup might I e'en now quaff; But how can I drink when I want to laugh? "Poor fool!" moaned the devil. "Vain words you lisp, Dull dupe of an ancient lie. What seek you here but a will-o'-the-wisp, Mocking you till you die? For the world's gone mad and th enations rave. Choose! An ugly dream, or a peaceful grave. You shall thirst, you shall starve while the earth you roam. Ah, pick up the dagger and drive it home." "Oh, foolish devil!" I made reply. "Thus to defeat you end, With your woeful visage and wistful eye: I could greet you now as a friend. For, as in a mirror, I now have seen The fear-crazed fool that I might have been. Come; tell me some more of this cheerless earth." But the devil was gone; and I shrieked with mirth.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06|