I told a truth, a tragic truth That tore the sullen sky; A million shuddered at my sooth And anarchist was I. Red righteousness was in my word To winnow evil chaff; Yet while I swung crusading sword I heard the devil laugh.
I framed a lie, a rainbow lie To glorify a thought; And none was so surprised as I When fast as fire it caught. Like honey people lapped my lie And peddled it abroad, Till in a lift of sunny sky I saw the smile of God.
If falsehood may be best, I thought, To hell with verity; Dark truth may be a cancer spot 'Twere better not to see. Aye, let a lie be big and bold Yet ripe with hope and ruth, Beshrew me! but its heart may hold More virtue than the truth.