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- Poems of Experience - 4/13 -


LINCOLN

When God created this good world A few stupendous peaks were hurled From His strong hand, and they remain The wonder of the level plain. But these colossal heights are rare, While shifting sands are everywhere.

So with the race. The centuries pass And nations fall like leaves of grass. They die, forgotten and unsung; While straight from God some souls are flung, To live immortal and sublime. So lives great Lincoln for all time.

I KNOW NOT

Death! I know not what room you are abiding in, But I will go my way, Rejoicing day by day, Nor will I flee or stay For fear I tread the path you may be hiding in.

Death! I know not, if my small barque be nearing you; But if you are at sea, Still there my sails float free; 'What is to be will be.' Nor will I mar the happy voyage by fearing you.

Death! I know not, what hour or spot you wait for me; My days untroubled flow, Just trusting on, I go, For oh, I know, I know, Death is but Life that holds some glad new fate for me.

INTERLUDE

The days grow shorter, the nights grow longer; The headstones thicken along the way, And life grows sadder, but love grows stronger, For those who walk with us day by day.

The tear comes quicker, the laugh comes slower; The courage is lesser to do and dare; And the tide of joy in the heart falls lower, And seldom covers the reefs of care.

But all true things in the world seem truer; And the better things of earth seem best, And friends are dearer, as friends are fewer, And love is ALL as our sun dips west.

Then let us clasp hands as we walk together, And let us speak softly in love's sweet tone; For no man knows on the morrow whether We two pass on--or but one alone.

RESURRECTION

Pausing a moment ere the day was done, While yet the earth was scintillant with light, I backward glanced. From valley, plain, and height, At intervals, where my life-path had run, Rose cross on cross; and nailed upon each one Was my dead self. And yet that gruesome sight Lent sudden splendour to the falling night, Showing the conquests that my soul had won.

Up to the rising stars I looked and cried, 'There is no death! for year on year, re-born I wake to larger life: to joy more great, So many times have I been crucified, So often seen the resurrection morn, I go triumphant, though new Calvaries wait.

THE VOICES OF THE CITY

The voices of the city--merged and swelled Into a mighty dissonance of sound, And from the medley rose these broken strains In changing time and ever-changing keys.

I

Pleasure seekers, silken clad, Led by cherub Day, Ours the duty to be glad, Ours the toil of play.

Sleep has bound the commonplace, Pleasure rules the dawn. Small hours set the merry pace And we follow on.

We must use the joys of earth, All its cares we'll keep; Night was made for youth and mirth, Day was made for sleep.

Time has cut his beard, and lo! He is but a boy, Singing, on with him we go, Ah! but life is joy.

II

We are the vendors of beauty, We the purveyors for hell; The carnal bliss of a purchased kiss And the pleasures that blight, we sell. God pity us; God pity the world.

We are the sad race-victims Of the misused force in man, Of the great white flame burned black with shame And lost to the primal plan. God pity us; God pity the world.

We are the Purpose of Being Gone wrong in the thought of the world. The torch for its hand made a danger brand And into the darkness hurled. God pity us; God pity the world.

III

We are the toilers in the realm of night (Long, long the hours of night), We are the human lever, wheel, and bolt, That keeps the civic vehicle from jolt, And jar upon the shining track of day (The unremembered day).

We sleep away the sunlit hours of life (Unsatisfied, sad life), We wake in shadow and we rise in gloom. False as a wanton's artificial bloom Is that made light we labour in till dawn (The lonely, laggard dawn).

Like visions half remembered in a dream (A strange and broken dream) Our children's faces, seen but while they sleep, Within our hearts these weary hours we keep. We are the toilers in the realm of night (Long, long the hours of night).

CHORUS

We are hope and faith and sorrow, We are peace and pain and passion, We are ardent lovers kissing, We are happy mothers crooning, We are rosy children dreaming, We are honest labour sleeping, We are wholesome pleasure laughing, We are wakeful riches feasting, We are lifted spirits praying, We the voices of the city.

Out of the medley rose these broken strains, In changing time and ever-changing keys.

IF CHRIST CAME QUESTIONING

If Christ came questioning His world to-day, (If Christ came questioning,) 'What hast thou done to glorify thy God, Since last My feet this lower earth plane trod?' How could I answer Him; and in what way One evidence of my allegiance bring; If Christ came questioning.

If Christ came questioning, to me alone, (If Christ came questioning,) I could not point to any church or shrine And say, 'I helped build up this house of Thine;


Poems of Experience - 4/13

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