Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lilies That Fester

I read some of Shakespeare's Sonnets last night, and I happened upon the following:


They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

–William Shakespeare

I was especially moved by those last two lines. What an apt description of the importance of our conversation - our behavior, our conduct, our speech. These things require daily tending. And we must always be aware of the temptations lurking at our door.

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