Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,
Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?
Are you not also a man, and in your heart
Are there not warlike thoughts and fear and smart?
Are you not also afraid and in fear cruel,
Do you not think of yourself as usual,
Faint for ambition, desire to be loved,
Prick at a virtuous thought by beauty moved?
You love your wife, you hold your children dear,
Then say not that Man is vile, but say they are.
But they are not. So is your judgement shown
Presumptuous, false, quite vain, merely your own
Sadness for failed ambition set outside,
Made a philosophy of, prinked, beautified
In noble dress and into the world sent out
To run with the ill it most pretends to rout.
Oh know your own heart, that heart's not wholly evil,
And from the particular judge the general,
If judge you must, but with compassion see life,
Or else, of yourself despairing, flee strife.
Stevie Smith's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Do Not! by Stevie Smith )
- Something still present, Tadasha Tripathy
- Cycling in Flanders 2, Stratis Havarti
- A study in what not to do, Christopher Withers
- Critical Thinking, Nassy Fesharaki
- LIKE AN ASTEROID, Satish Verma
- Stay as unit, hasmukh amathalal
- I shall change, hasmukh amathalal
- Egg, Olufayo Ezekiel
- The grass, gajanan mishra
- But we are one, gajanan mishra