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- Poems of Power - 4/17 -


WOMANHOOD

She must be honest, both in thought and deed, Of generous impulse, and above all greed; Not seeking praise, or place, or power, or pelf, But life's best blessings for her higher self, Which means the best for all. She must have faith, To make good friends of Trouble, Pain, and Death, And understand their message. She should be As redolent with tender sympathy As is a rose with fragrance. Cheerfulness Should be her mantle, even though her dress May be of Sorrow's weaving. On her face A loyal nature leaves its seal of grace, And chastity is in her atmosphere. Not that chill chastity which seems austere (Like untrod snow-peaks, lovely to behold Till once attained--then barren, loveless, cold); But the white flame that feeds upon the soul And lights the pathway to a peaceful goal. A sense of humour, and a touch of mirth, To brighten up the shadowy spots of earth; And pride that passes evil--choosing good. All these unite in perfect womanhood.

MORNING PRAYER

Let me to-day do something that shall take A little sadness from the world's vast store, And may I be so favoured as to make Of joy's too scanty sum a little more Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend; Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need, Or sin by silence when I should defend. However meagre be my worldly wealth, Let me give something that shall aid my. kind - A word of courage, or a thought of health, Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find. Let me to-night look back across the span 'Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say - Because of some good act to beast or man - "The world is better that I lived to-day."

THE VOICES OF THE PEOPLE

Oh! I hear the people calling through the day time and the night time, They are calling, they are crying for the coming of the right time. It behooves you, men and women, it behooves you to be heeding, For there lurks a note of menace underneath their plaintive pleading.

Let the land usurpers listen, let the greedy-hearted ponder, On the meaning of the murmur, rising here and swelling yonder, Swelling louder, waxing stronger, like a storm-fed stream that courses Through the valleys, down abysses, growing, gaining with new forces.

Day by day the river widens, that great river of opinion, And its torrent beats and plunges at the base of greed's dominion. Though you dam it by oppression and fling golden bridges o'er it, Yet the day and hour advances when in fright you'll flee before it.

Yes, I hear the people calling, through the night time and the day time, Wretched toilers in life's autumn, weary young ones in life's May time - They are crying, they are calling for their share of work and pleasure; You are heaping high your coffers while you give them scanty measure, - You have stolen God's wide acres, just to glut your swollen purses - Oh! restore them to His children ere their pleading turns to curses.

THE WORLD GROWS BETTER

Oh! the earth is full of sinning And of trouble and of woe, But the devil makes an inning Every time we say it's so. And the way to set him scowling, And to put him back a pace, Is to stop this stupid growling, And to look things in the face.

If you glance at history's pages, In all lands and eras known, You will find the buried ages Far more wicked than our own. As you scan each word and letter. You will realise it more, That the world to-day is better Than it ever was before.

There is much that needs amending In the present time, no doubt; There is right that needs amending, There is wrong needs crushing out. And we hear the groans and curses Of the poor who starve and die, While the men with swollen purses In the place of hearts go by.

But in spite of all the trouble That obscures the sun to-day, Just remember it was double In the ages passed away. And those wrongs shall all be righted, Good shall dominate the land, For the darkness now is lighted By the torch in Science's hand.

Forth from little motes in Chaos, We have come to what we are; And no evil force can stay us - We shall mount from star to star, We shall break each bond and fetter That has bound us heretofore; And the earth is surely better Than it ever was before.

A MAN'S IDEAL

A lovely little keeper of the home, Absorbed in menu books, yet erudite When I need counsel; quick at repartee And slow to anger. Modest as a flower, Yet scintillant and radiant as a star. Unmercenary in her mould of mind, While opulent and dainty in her tastes. A nature generous and free, albeit The incarnation of economy. She must be chaste as proud Diana was, Yet warm as Venus. To all others cold As some white glacier glittering in the sun; To me as ardent as the sensuous rose That yields its sweetness to the burrowing bee All ignorant of evil in the world, And innocent as any cloistered nun, Yet wise as Phryne in the arts of love When I come thirsting to her nectared lips. Good as the best, and tempting as the worst, A saint, a siren, and a paradox.

THE FIRE BRIGADE

Hark! high o'er the rattle and clamour and clatter Of traffic-filled streets, do you hear that loud noise? And pushing and rushing to see what's the matter, Like herds of wild cattle, go pell-mell the boys.

There's a fire in the city! the engines are coming! The bold bells are clanging, "Make way in the street!" The wheels of the hose-cart are spinning and humming In time to the music of galloping feet.

Make way there! make way there! the horses are flying, The sparks from their swift hoofs shoot higher and higher, The crowds are increasing--the gamins are crying: "Hooray, boys!" "Hooray, boys!" "Come on to the fire!"

With clanging and banging and clatter and rattle The long ladders follow the engine and hose. The men are all ready to dash into battle; But will they come out again? God only knows.

At windows and doorways crowd questioning faces; There's something about it that quickens one's breath. How proudly the brave fellows sit in their places - And speed to the conflict that may be their death!

Still faster and faster and faster and faster


Poems of Power - 4/17

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