Shrift by Muriel Stuart

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I am not true, but you would pardon this
If you could see the tortured spirit take
Its place beside you in the dark, and break
Your daily food of love and kindliness.
You’d guess the bitter thing that treachery is,
Furtive and on its guard, asleep, awake,
Fearing to sin, yet fearing to forsake,
And daily giving Christ the Judas kiss.

But piteous amends I make each day
To recompense the evil with the good;
With double pang I play the double part
Of all you trust and all that I betray.
What long atonement makes my penitent blood,
To what sad tryst goes my unfaithful heart!

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