Treasure Island

James Kenneth Stephen

(25 February 1859 – 3 February 1892 / England)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: evil, people, world

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Malefactor's Plea by James Kenneth Stephen )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Lawson


The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought,
The cheque was spent that the shearer earned,
and the sheds were all cut out;
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]