I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long…
This too I know—and wise it were
If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
How men their brother maim.
With bars they blur the gracious moon
And blind the goodly sun;
And they do well to hide their Hell,
For in it things are done
That Son of God nor Son of Man
Ever should look upon!
The vilest deeds like poison weeds
Bloom well in prison air;
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
And the Warder is Despair…
Ah! Happy they whose hearts can break
And peace of Pardon win:
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May the Lord Christ enter in?