The Beginning Of Evil

IT was such a little thing,

One slight twist of crimson string;

But 'twas stealing all the same;

And the child who took it knew

That she told what was not true,

Just to screen herself from blame.

First a theft, and then a lie,

Both recorded up on high.

It was but a little sip,

Just a taste upon the lip;

But it left a longing there.

Then the measure larger grew,

And the habit strengthened too,

Till it would no curbing bear.

So the demon Drink decoys;

Soul and body both destroys.

It was but one little word,

Softly spoken, scarcely heard,

Uttered by a single breath;

But it dared to take in vain

God's most high and holy name,

So provoking wrath and death.

Soon the lips, once fresh and fair,

Opened but to curse and swear.

It was but one little blow,

Passion's sudden overflow,

Scarcely heeded in its fall;

But, once loosed, the fiery soul

Would no longer brook control;

Laws it spurned, defied them all.

Till the hands, love clasped in vain,

Wore the murderer's crimson stain.

Ah! it is the foxes small,

Slyly climbing o'er the wall,

That destroy the tender vines;

And it is the spark of fire,

Brightening, growing, curling higher,

That across the forest shines.

Just so, step by step, does sin,

If unchecked, a triumph win.