Venerable to me is the hard hand; crooked & coarse; wherein notwithstanding lies a cunning virtue indefeasibly royal as the Scepter of this Planet. Hardly entreated Brother! For us was thy way so bent, for us were thy straight limb & fingers so deformed; thou wert our Conscript on whom the lot fell, & fighting our battles wert so marred. For in thee too lay a God-created Form, but it is not unfolded. Encrusted must it stand with the thick adhesions & defacements of labor, & thy body, thy soul, was no to know Freedom.
There are three lessons I would write- Three words, as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light, Upon the heart of men. Have hope! though clouds environ round, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put thou the shadow from thy brow, No night but hath its morn. Have love! not love alone for one, But man as man thy brother call, And scatter like the circling sun, Thy charities on all.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? / He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? / And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Sion calls Anne an eel, he calls her a slippery dipper from the slime, and he remembers what the cardinal had called her: my serpentine enemy. Sion says, she goes to it with her brother; he says, what, her brother George? 'Any brother she's got. Those kind keep it in the family. They do filthy French tricks, like -' 'Can you keep your voice down?' He looks around, as if spies might be swimming by the boat. '- and that's how she trusts herself she don't give in to Henry, because if she lets him do it and she gets a boy he's, thanks very much, now clear off, girl - so she's oh, Your Highness, I never could allow - because she knows that very night her brother's inside her, licking her up to the lungs, and then he's, excuse me, sister, what shall I do with this big package - she says, oh, don't distress yourself, my lord brother, shove it up the back entry, it'll come to no harm there.
But first, on earth as vampire sent, Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent, Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race. There from thy daughter, sister, wife, At midnight drain the stream of life, Yet loathe the banquet which perforce Must feed thy livid living corse. Thy victims ere they yet expire Shall know the demon for their sire, As cursing thee, thou cursing them, Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution... Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God? God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person.
The Story of the Woman with Three Brothers" A woman once had three brothers. They all had wives, but she was not married. Though she was virtuous and hardworking, her brothers would not offer a dowry. How unhappy she was! What could she do? She's so miserable, she goes to the garden and hangs herself from a tree. The eldest brother walks through the garden and pretends not to see her. The second brother walks through the garden and pretends not to see that she's dead. The third brother sees her, bursts into tears, and takes her body inside. A woman once had three brothers. When she died, no one wanted to care for her body. Though she had been virtuous and hardworking, her brothers would not serve her. How cruel this was! What would happen? She is ignored in death as in life, until her body begins to stink. The eldest brother gives one piece of cloth to cover her body. The second brother gives two pieces of cloth. The third brother wraps her in as many clothes as possible so she'll be warm in the afterworld. A woman once had three brothers. Now dressed for her future as a spirit, her brothers won't spend any money on a coffin. Though she was virtuous and hardworking, her brothers are stingy. How unfair this was! Would she ever find rest? All alone, all alone, she plans her haunting days. The eldest brother says, "We don't need to bury her in a box. She is fine the way she is." The second brother says, "We could use that old box in the shed." The third brother says, "This is all the money I have. I will go and buy her a coffin." A woman once had three brothers. They have come so far, but what will happen to Sister now? Elder brother- mean in spirit; Second brother- cold in heart; but in Third brother love may come through. Elder brother says, "Let's bury her here by the water buffalo road." (meaning she would be trampled for all eternity) Second brother says, "Let's bury her here under the bridge." (meaning she would wash away) But third brother - good in heart, filial in all ways - says, "We will bury her behind the house so everyone will remember her.