I see a Spirit by thy side,
Purple-winged and eagle-eyed,
Looking like a Heavenly guide.
Though he seem so bright and fair,
Ere thou trust his proffered care,
Pause a little, and beware!
If he bid thee dwell apart,
Tending some ideal smart
In a sick and coward heart;
In self-worship wrapped alone,
Dreaming thy poor griefs are grown
More than other men have known;
Dwelling in some cloudy sphere,
Though God’s work is waiting here,
And God deigneth to be near;
If his torch’s crimson glare
Show thee evil everywhere,
Tainting all the wholesome air;
While with strange distorted choice,
Still disdaining to rejoice,
Thou wilt hear a wailing voice;
If a simple, humble heart,
Seem to thee a meaner part,
Than thy noblest aim and art;
If he bid thee bow before
Crowned Mind and nothing more,
The great idol men adore;
And with starry veil enfold
Sin, the trailing serpent old,
Till his scales shine out like gold;
Though his words seem true and wise,
Soul, I say to thee–Arise.
He is a Demon in disguise!