GIVING AND VIRTUE

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To give with pain brings its own reward
for virtue seems won when the giving is hard.
A baptism cult-like that glory’s the pain,
pretending to goodness, but virtue will stain
and baptize with fire til a pride takes the place
 
where virtue once dwelt but leaves only a trace.
Find someone who gives yet does not feel a pain
who seeks not self-virtue as purchased like gain,
but gives of his wealth without virtue in mind
but for goodness, from goodness — with no debt to bind.

Arthur Ruger © 2000