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- Poems of Power - 2/17 -


To guide me through the channels of the years. Oh, I am blinded by the blaze of light That shines upon me from the Infinite. Blurred is my vision by the close approach To unseen shores, whereon the times encroach.

THE OLD CENTURY

Illusion, all illusion. List and hear The Godless cannons, booming far and near. Flaunting the flag of Unbelief, with Greed For pilot, lo! the pirate age in speed Bears on to ruin. War's most hideous crimes Besmirch the record of these modern times. Degenerate is the world I leave to you, - My happiest speech to earth will be--adieu.

THE NEW CENTURY

You speak as one too weary to be just. I hear the guns--I see the greed and lust. The death throes of a giant evil fill The air with riot and confusion. Ill Ofttimes makes fallow ground for Good; and Wrong Builds Right's foundation, when it grows too strong. Pregnant with promise is the hour, and grand The trust you leave in my all-willing hand.

THE OLD CENTURY

As one who throws a flickering taper's ray To light departing feet, my shadowed way You brighten with your faith. Faith makes the man Alas, that my poor foolish age outran Its early trust in God! The death of art And progress follows, when the world's hard heart Casts out religion. 'Tis the human brain Men worship now, and heaven, to them, means--gain.

THE NEW CENTURY

Faith is not dead, tho' priest and creed may pass, For thought has leavened the whole unthinking mass, And man looks now to find the God within. We shall talk more of love, and less of sin, In this new era. We are drawing near Unatlassed boundaries of a larger sphere. With awe, I wait, till Science leads us on, Into the full effulgence of its dawn.

DEATH HAS CROWNED HIM A MARTYR (Written on the day of President McKinley's death)

In the midst of sunny waters, lo! the mighty Ship of State Staggers, bruised and torn and wounded by a derelict of fate, One that drifted from its moorings in the anchorage of hate.

On the deck our noble Pilot, in the glory of his prime, Lies in woe-impelling silence, dead before his hour or time, Victim of a mind self-centred in a Godless fool of crime.

One of earth's dissension-breeders, one of Hate's unreasoning tools, In the annals of the ages, when the world's hot anger cools, He who sought for Crime's distinction shall be known as Chief of Fools.

In the annals of the ages, he who had no thought of fame (Keeping on the path of duty, caring not for praise or blame), Close beside the deathless Lincoln, writ in light, will shine his name.

Youth proclaimed him as a hero; time, a statesman; love, a man; Death has crowned him as a martyr,--so from goal to goal he ran, Knowing all the sum of glory that a human life may span.

He was chosen by the people; not an accident of birth Made him ruler of a nation, but his own intrinsic worth. Fools may govern over kingdoms--not republics of the earth.

He has raised the lovers' standard by his loyalty and faith, He has shown how virile manhood may keep free from scandal's breath. He has gazed, with trust unshaken, in the awful eyes of Death.

In the mighty march of progress he has sought to do his best. Let his enemies be silent, as we lay him down to rest, And may God assuage the anguish of one suffering woman's breast.

GRIEF

As the funeral train with its honoured dead On its mournful way went sweeping, While a sorrowful nation bowed its head And the whole world joined in weeping, I thought, as I looked on the solemn sight, Of the one fond heart despairing, And I said to myself, as in truth I might, "How sad must be this SHARING."

To share the living with even Fame, For a heart that is only human, Is hard, when Glory asserts her claim Like a bold, insistent woman; Yet a great, grand passion can put aside Or stay each selfish emotion, And watch, with a pleasure that springs from pride, Its rival--the world's devotion.

But Death should render to love its own, And my heart bowed down and sorrowed For the stricken woman who wept alone While even her DEAD was borrowed; Borrowed from her, the bride--the wife - For the world's last martial honour, As she sat in the gloom of her darkened life, With her widow's grief fresh upon her.

He had shed the glory of Love and Fame In a golden halo about her; She had shared his triumphs and worn his name: But, alas! he had died without her. He had wandered in many a distant realm, And never had left her behind him, But now, with a spectral shape at the helm, He had sailed where she could not find him.

It was only a thought, that came that day In the midst of the muffled drumming And funeral music and sad display, That I knew was right and becoming Only a thought as the mourning train Moved, column after column, Bearing the dead to the burial plain With a reverence grand as solemn.

ILLUSION

God and I in space alone And nobody else in view. "And where are the people, O Lord," I said, "The earth below, and the sky o'er head, And the dead whom once I knew?"

"That was a dream," God smiled and said - "A dream that seemed to be true. There were no people, living or dead, There was no earth, and no sky o'erhead; There was only Myself--in you."

"Why do I feel no fear," I asked, "Meeting You here this way? For I have sinned I know full well? And is there heaven, and is there hell, And is this the judgment day?"

"Say, those were but dreams," the Great God said, "Dreams, that have ceased to be. There are no such things as fear or sin, There is no you--you never have been - There is nothing at all but ME."

ASSERTION

I am serenity. Though passions beat Like mighty billows on my helpless heart, I know beyond them lies the perfect sweet Serenity, which patience can impart. And when wild tempests in my bosom rage, "Peace, peace," I cry, "it is my heritage."

I am good health. Though fevers rack my brain And rude disorders mutilate my strength, A perfect restoration after pain, I know shall be my recompense at length. And so through grievous day and sleepless night, "Health, health," I cry, "it is my own by right."

I am success. Though hungry, cold, ill-clad, I wander for awhile, I smile and say, "It is but for a time--I shall be glad To-morrow, for good fortune comes my way. God is my father, He has wealth untold, His wealth is mine, health, happiness, and gold."


Poems of Power - 2/17

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