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XXXI

HYPOCRISY

As are those apples, pleasant to the eye,

But full of smoke within, which use to grow

Near that strange lake, where GOD pour'd from the sky

Huge showers of flames, worse flames to overthrow;

Such are their works that with a glaring show

Of humble holiness, in virtue's dye

Would colour mischief, while within they glow

With coals of sin, though none the smoke descry.

Ill is that angel which erst fell from heaven,

But not more ill than he, nor in worse case,

Who hides a traitorous mind with smiling face,

And with a dove's white feather masks a raven.

Each sin some colour hath it to adorn;

Hypocrisy, almighty GOD doth scorn.

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