By chosen error into error driven,
I see my sins accumulate, unshriven,
A long account which pride would not display
Of debts no will or reason can repay,
And my divided consciousness is riven
By thoughts of One of undisputed sway
Whose quiet mercy, unimposed in chase,
Permits self-will the risk of self-disgrace,
Yet would assist the life that pride upturned.
Empty of gifts that living leaves unearned,
Life finally must come to mercy's face.
Guilty, impenitent weakness often yearned
For absolution earth could never give.
Estranged from peace, a restless fugitive
Ever in search of being undermined
By action, though rehearsed well in the mind,
I know the guilt which self cannot forgive,
That sees itself, and yet to cause is blind.
These are the unpaid debts I have incurred:
Good health enjoyed, enemy death deferred,
A mind and body unified and free,
Parents and friends who nurtured me. …