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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

He who possesses virtue at its best,
         Or greatness in the true sense of the word,
         Has one day started even with that herd
Whose swift feet now speed but at sin's behest.
It is the same force in the human breast
         Which makes men gods or demons. If we gird
         Those strong emotions by which we are stirred
With might of will and purpose, heights unguessed
         Shall dawn for us; or if we give them sway
We can sink down and consort with the lost.
All virtue is worth just the price it cost.
         Black sin is oft white truth that missed its way
And wandered off in paths not understood.
Twin-born I hold great evil and great good.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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