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Henry David Thoreau - Conscience

Conscience is instinct bred in the house, 
Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin 
By an unnatural breeding in and in. 
I say, Turn it out doors, 
Into the moors. 
I love a life whose plot is simple, 
And does not thicken with every pimple, 
A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it, 
That makes the universe no worse than 't finds it. 
I love an earnest soul, 
Whose mighty joy and sorrow 
Are not drowned in a bowl, 
And brought to life to-morrow; 
That lives one tragedy, 
And not seventy; 
A conscience worth keeping; 
Laughing not weeping; 
A conscience wise and steady, 
And forever ready; 
Not changing with events, 
Dealing in compliments; 
A conscience exercised about 
Large things, where one may doubt. 
I love a soul not all of wood, 
Predestinated to be good, 
But true to the backbone 
Unto itself alone, 
And false to none; 
Born to its own affairs, 
Its own joys and own cares; 
By whom the work which God begun 
Is finished, and not undone; 
Taken up where he left off, 
Whether to worship or to scoff; 
If not good, why then evil, 
If not good god, good devil. 
Goodness! you hypocrite, come out of that, 
Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
I have no patience towards
Such conscientious cowards.
Give me simple laboring folk,
Who love their work,
Whose virtue is song
To cheer God along.

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 20419 times | Comments and analysis of Conscience by Henry David Thoreau Comments (475)

Conscience - Comments and Information

Poet: Henry David Thoreau
Poem: Conscience

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