The Lodger (Poem by J.M.S. Tait)

The Lodger

A poem by J.M.S. Tait, based on Numbers 22:8 “Lodge here this night”.

Ah, thou that dalliest with temptation
And would’st fain a little while thy fell guest entertain;
Thinkest thou with morning light he’ll clean depart,
And ne’er again come knocking at thy heart?

Vain thought!
If once thy threshold he has passed,
That first success shall hardly be his last.
With bolder face, and with augmented train,
Another day shall see him back again.
Tenfold more easy then the downward way:
Tenfold more difficult to say him nay.

This truth, writ plain for every eye to see,
Is blazoned o’er the page of history:
The man who stood not firm while yet he could,
Shall find no strength to turn him when he would;
No, not though e’en an angel out of heaven his way withstood.