Wednesday, December 03, 2014

A Strange Little Poem in the Adventist Review - 1889

Judge Not
A Poem
2/1/1889   Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald
This journal does not give the author...but says "-- Selected"

An internet search gives the author as Major Harry Larkyns.

He was an English entrepreneur and theater critic in SF...and became involved with a married woman, Mrs. Flora Muybridge.  He possibly was the father of her son.
He was shot in Napa County, CA., Yellow Jacket Mine 7 miles from Calistoga, Oct 18, 1874 by the jealous husband, Mr. Eadweard J. Muybridge. (He was a pioneer in photographing movement and early cinematography.  Father of the motion picture, he is credited with the first film ever...of a running horse in 1878, showing a galloping horse lifts all 4 feet off the ground at the same time.  He also developed the first type of movie projector.)   The trial was very famous and in all the papers.  He was found not guilty in this crime of passion (justifiable homicide) regarding his wife. Later, he sent his wife away and sent their son to an orphanage. 

A movie on Mr. Muybridge is immanent, release name of "Eadweard".  A later movie is forthcoming, "Flying Horse", staring Benidict Cumberbatch in 2016.  The story was recently produced as a stage play in Prague, titled "Human Locomotion."  A BBC special about Mr. Muybridge is at   A museum of his original photographs is in Kingston, England.

This verse was found in Harry Larkyns personal affects, apparently penned just days before his death.    It is reproduced in a couple of Masonic books.  One of the titles is "Who Can Tell?"  


 7 years later, this poem appears in the Seventh-day Adventist journal Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, without his name.  Now doubt they didn't want the good poem associated with such a nefarious and notorious author.

The Internet Poem is listed here.  There are a few minor changes in the Adventist Review version...and they are indicated by striking out the original red text and adding the green text.

I just find it interesting that the good old Review would print the poem of a murdered philanderer. Perhaps it was passed on to them as "-Selected" and they did not have the internet to do such research.


The Poem

"Judge Not"  (Review Title)
or    "Who Can Tell?" (Other Title)
by Harry Larkyns

How do we know what hearts have vilest sin?
                        How do we know?
Many, like sepulchers, are foul within
            Whose outward garb is spotless as the snow
            And many maybe be pure we think not so.
How near to God the souls of such have been
What mercy secret penitence may win -
                        How do we know?

How can we tell who have sinned more than we?
                        How can we tell?
We think our brother has walked guiltily,
            Judging him in self-righteousness.  Ah, well!
            Perhaps had we been driven through the hell
Of his untold temptations, we might be
Less upright in our daily walk than he -
                        How can we tell?

Dare we condemn the ills that others do?
                        Dare we condemn?
Their strength is small, their trials not aare not few.
            The tide of wrong is difficult to stem
            And if to us more clearly than to them
Is given knowledge of the good and true,
More do they need our help, and pity too -
                        Dare we condemn?

God help us all, and lead us day by day!
                        God help us all!
We cannot walk alone the perfect way;
            Evil allures us, tempts us, and we fall
            We are but human, and our power is small;
Not one of us may boast, and not a day
Rolls o'er our heads but each hath need to saypray,
                        God bless help us all!

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