I've been a hopeless sinner, but I understand a
by Gamaliel Bradford
Their bend of weary knees and their con-
tortions long and faint,
And the endless pricks of conscience, like a hundred
A real perpetual penance for imaginary sins.
I love to wander widely, but I understand a cell,
Where you tell and tell your beads because you've
nothing else to tell,
Where the crimson joy of flesh, with all its wild
Is forgotten in the blinding glory of the crucifix.
I cannot speak for others, but my inmost soul is
With a battle of desires making all my life forlorn.
There are moments when I would untread the paths
that I have trod.
I'm a haunter of the devil, but I hunger after God.