Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: Humble Pride
By Kenneth Bridge
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With flushing face and stammering tongue I would that I had died
But neither embarrassment nor mortification trouble me
From discomfiture and shame I am entirely free
For if my weakness be an open book,
If failure is evident to all who look,
No dressing up disaster, no pretence of being master
If I acknowledge each fumble with honesty so humble,
No hill too steep, no gap to leap from claim to real
No secret self on hidden shelf, under protection,
Safe from detection, but all is revealed.
Then shame and disgrace have no place
And embarrassment cannot reach me
If pride goeth before a fall,
Then a fall can be by humility forestalled
Is there not some picture of your self
That cannot bear close scrutiny?
Some distance from the real that if to your friends revealed,
Might well might drive them to mutiny?
You seem to have taken careful measure
Of being plain before all and take great pleasure
In your own abasement as inoculation
Against the crime of self-preoccupation
True, you cannot fall from the depths to heights,
And keep both gravity and levity in your sights
But wait! Self hate is but self love upended
Wallowing in humility is but pretended.
What’s that you say, but not too loud
You think me of my humility too proud?
Alas, at such discovery I find disgrace,
I feel the redness in my face,
My legs are weak but I must flee,
Embarrassment has hold of me!
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