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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

John Henry Newman 1801–90

The Sign of the Cross


WHENE’ER across this sinful flesh of mine

I draw the Holy Sign,

All good thoughts stir within me, and renew

Their slumbering strength divine;

Till there springs up a courage high and true

To suffer and to do.

And who shall say, but hateful spirits around,

For their brief hour unbound,

Shudder to see, and wail their overthrow?

While on far heathen ground

Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odor, though

Its source he cannot know.