WATCH YOURSELF GO BY

JUST STAND ASIDE and watch yourself go by;
Think of yourself as “he” instead of “I”.
Note, closely as in other men you note,
The bag-kneed trousers and the seedy coat.
Pick flaws, find fault, forget the man is you,
And try to make your estimate ring true.
Confront yourself and look you in the eye—
JUST STAND ASIDE and watch yourself go by.

Interpret all your motives just as though
You looked on one whose aims you did not know.
Let undisguised contempt surge through you when
You see you shrink, O commonest of men!
Despise your cowardice, condemn whate’er
You note a falseness in you anywhere.
Defend not one defect that shames your eye—
JUST STAND ASIDE and watch yourself go by.

AND THEN, with eyes unveiled to what you loathe,
To sins that with sweet charity you’d clothe,
Back to your self-walled tenement you’ll go
With tolerance for all who dwell below.
The fault of others then will dwarf and shrink,
Love’s chain grow stronger by one mighty link,
When you, with “he” as substitute for “I,”
Have stood aside and WATCHED YOURSELF GO BY.

Strickland Gillilan.

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