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If His Mother Knew

From the Rock Island Argus, September 15, 1913.

Hold on, young man; one moment, please,
    Before you pass that door tonight:
You say you mean no harm, you say
You’ll bring a sinless heart away,
    You say that you are strong, that Right
Shall guard you from the wiles of Wrong,
    That to yourself you will be true,
But would you still seek pleasure there—
Come, answer truly and be fair—
    If you could know your mother knew?

We always tell ourselves before
    We weakly yield that we are strong;
We always, ere we enter in,
Expect to leave still free from sin
    And still the armored foes of Wrong,
But few would fall and few would sigh,
    Remorse would gnaw the hearts of few
If each, when Conscience cries, “Beware!”
Would ask himself if he would care
    To do it if his mother knew.

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