Judging

Who knows the inner workings of a mind
That may commit an ‘act’, a crime to you;
Why all this fuss of striving hard to find
A jury to convict?  Why this to do?
Try him if need you must by equal men,
Men who have borne the burdens he has borne;
How dare you say this man is guilty, when
You cannot see his life, his soul unshorn?

Poor, hungry, cold, try him not by a man
Wallowing in wealth he has not worked to win.
Play squarely; then, convict him if you can,
Else on you falls that man’s begetting sin.
Judge rightly, that you be not judged; I say
Your judgment will fall back on you, some day.

– Circa 1929

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