Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Robert Louis Stevenson's Poem for Saint Marianne Cope

    To the Reverend Sister Marianne,
    Matron of the Bishop Home, Kalaupapa.

    To see the infinite pity of this place,
    The mangled limb, the devastated face,
    The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
    A fool were tempted to deny his God.
    He sees, and shrinks; but if he look again,
    Lo, beauty springing from the breasts of pain!
    He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
    And even a fool is silent and adores.
Quoted by Chronicles' Tom Piatak, who also links to the poet's "essay defending the recently deceased Flemish priest [St. Damien of Molokai] from aspersions cast on him by a Presbyterian minister, Rev. Dr. Hyde, whom Stevenson had met in Honolulu." which "Pat Buchanan has described... as 'among the most passionate, brilliant, brutal, and beautiful polemics I have ever read'" — An Island of Saints.

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