Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

The Deadliest Sin

There are not many sins when once we sift them.
In actions of evolving human souls
Striving to reach high goals
And falling backward into dust and mire,
Some element we find that seems to lift them
Above our condemnation-even higher
Into the realm of pity and compassion.
So beauteous a thing as love itself can fashion
A chain of sins; descending to desire,
It wanders into dangerous paths, and leads
To most unholy deeds,
And light-struck, walks in madness toward the night.

Wrong oft-times is an over-ripened right,
A rank weed grown from some neglected flower,
The lightning uncontrolled: flames meant for joy
And beauty, used to ravage and destroy.
For sins like these repentance can atone.
There is one sin alone
Which seems all unforgivable, because
It springs from no temptation and no need
And no desire, save to make sweet faith bleed,
And to defame God's laws.
Oh! viler than the murderer or the thief
Who slays the body and who robs the purse,
Is he who strives to kill the mind's belief
And rob it of its hope
Of life beyond this little pain-filled span.
God has no curse
Quite dark enough to punish such a man,
Who, seeing how souls grope
And suffer in this world of mighty losses,
And how hearts stagger on beneath life's crosses,
Yet strives to rob them of their staff of faith
And make them think dark death
Ends all existence; think the worshipped child
Cold in its mother's arms is but a clod
And has not gone to God;
That souls united by love undefiled
And holy can by death be torn asunder
To meet no more.
It must be true that under
This earth of ours there lies a Purgatory
For those who seek to rob grief of the glory
That shines through hope of life immortal. In
Sin's lexicon this is the vilest sin-
Needless and cruel, ugly, gaunt and mean,
Without one poor excuse on which to lean,
A vandal sin, that with no hope of gain
Finds pleasure only in another's pain.

God! though all other sins on earth persist,
Strike dumb the blatant, loud-mouthed atheist.

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:50 min read
80 Views

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. more…

All Ella Wheeler Wilcox poems | Ella Wheeler Wilcox Books

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Discuss this Ella Wheeler Wilcox poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Deadliest Sin" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/10833/the-deadliest-sin>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Which author is considered to be Scotland’s national poet?
    • A. Robert Burns
    • B. Edwin Morgan
    • C. Robert Louis Stevenson
    • D. Danny Boyle

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »