In St. Luke's Gospel we are told How Peter in the days of old Was sifted; And now, though ages intervene, Sin is the same, while time and scene Are shifted. Satan desires us, great and small, As wheat to sift us, and we all Are tempted; Not one, however rich or great, Is by his station or estate Exempted. No house so safely guarded is But he, by some device of his, Can enter; No heart hath armor so complete But he can pierce with arrows fleet Its centre. For all at last the cock will crow, Who hear the warning voice, but go Unheeding, Till thrice and more they have denied The Man of Sorrows, crucified And bleeding. One look of that pale suffering face Will make us feel the deep disgrace Of weakness; We shall be sifted till the strength Of self-conceit be changed at length To meekness. Wounds of the soul, though healed will ache; The reddening scars remain, and make Confession; Lost innocence returns no more; We are not what we were before Transgression. But noble souls, through dust and heat, Rise from disaster and defeat The stronger, And conscious still of the divine Within them, lie on earth supine No longer.