James Kenneth Stephen
The Malefactor's Plea
Of sentences that stir my bile,
Of phrases I detest,
There's one beyond all others vile;
"He did it for the best."
Of course he did: I don't suppose,
Nor can you think I should,
The man's among my deadliest foes,
Or is not fairly good.
Of course he did it for the best:
What should he do it for?
But did he do it? that's the test:
I ask to know no more.
Alas! he did: and here am I,
Quite ruined, half disgraced;
And you can really ask me why
My wrath is not effaced:
And there is he, good worthy man,
With self-esteem possessed,
Still saying, as of course he can,
"I did it for the best."
No evil deed was ever done,
Or honest man withstood,
Since first this weary world begun,
Except for someone's good.
And can it signify to me
Whose good he did it for?
Mine was it? thus 'twas wont to be,
And will be ever more.
When inoffensive people plant
A dagger in your breast,
Your good is what they really want:
They do it for the best.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967)
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