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- Poems of Power - 5/17 -


The grand horses thunder and leap on their way The red foe is yonder, and may prove the master; Turn out there, bold traffic--turn out there, I say!

For once the loud truckman knows oaths will not matter And reins in his horses and yields to his fate. The engines are coming! let pleasure-crowds scatter, Let street car and truckman and mail waggon wait.

They speed like a comet--they pass in a minute; The boys follow on like a tail to a kite; The commonplace street has but traffic now in it - The great fire engines have swept out of sight.

THE TIDES

Be careful what rubbish you toss in the tide. On outgoing billows it drifts from your sight, But back on the incoming waves it may ride And land at your threshold again before night. Be careful what rubbish you toss in the tide.

Be careful what follies you toss in life's sea. On bright dancing billows they drift far away, But back on the Nemesis tides they may be Thrown down at your threshold an unwelcome day Be careful what follies you toss in youth's sea.

WHEN THE REGIMENT CAME BACK

All the uniforms were blue, all the swords were bright and new, When the regiment went marching down the street, All the men were hale and strong as they proudly moved along, Through the cheers that drowned the music of their feet. Oh the music of the feet keeping time to drums that beat, Oh the splendour and the glitter of the sight, As with swords and rifles new and in uniforms of blue The regiment went marching to the fight!

When the regiment came back all the guns and swords were black And the uniforms had faded out to gray, And the faces of the men who marched through that street again Seemed like faces of the dead who lose their way. For the dead who lose their way cannot look more wan and gray. Oh the sorrow and the pity of the sight, Oh the weary lagging feet out of step with drums that beat, As the regiment comes marching from the fight.

WOMAN TO MAN

Woman is man's enemy, rival, and competitor.--JOHN. J. INGALLS.

You do but jest, sir, and you jest not well, How could the hand be enemy of the arm, Or seed and sod be rivals! How could light Feel jealousy of heat, plant of the leaf, Or competition dwell 'twixt lip and smile? Are we not part and parcel of yourselves? Like strands in one great braid we entertwine And make the perfect whole. You could not be, Unless we gave you birth; we are the soil From which you sprang, yet sterile were that soil Save as you planted. (Though in the Book we read One woman bore a child with no man's aid, We find no record of a man-child born Without the aid of woman! Fatherhood Is but a small achievement at the best, While motherhood comprises heaven and hell.) This ever-growing argument of sex Is most unseemly, and devoid of sense. Why waste more time in controversy, when There is not time enough for all of love, Our rightful occupation in this life? Why prate of our defects, of where we fail, When just the story of our worth would need Eternity for telling, and our best Development comes ever through your praise, As through our praise you reach your highest self? Oh! had you not been miser of your praise And let our virtues be their own reward, The old-established order of the world Would never have been changed. Small blame is ours For this unsexing of ourselves, and worse. Effeminising of the male. We were Content, sir, till you starved us, heart and brain. All we have done, or wise, or otherwise, Traced to the root, was done for love of you. Let us taboo all vain comparisons, And go forth as God meant us, hand in hand, Companions, mates, and comrades evermore; Two parts of one divinely ordained whole.

THE TRAVELLER

Reply to Rudyard Kipling's "He travels the fastest who travels alone."

Who travels alone with his eyes on the heights, Though he laughs in the day time oft weeps in the nights;

For courage goes down at the set of the sun, When the toil of the journey is all borne by one.

He speeds but to grief though full gaily he ride Who travels alone without love at his side.

Who travels alone without lover or friend But hurries from nothing, to naught at the end.

Though great be his winnings and high be his goal, He is bankrupt in wisdom and beggared in soul.

Life's one gift of value to him is denied Who travels alone without love at his side.

It is easy enough in this world to make haste If one live for that purpose--but think of the waste;

For life is a poem to leisurely read, And the joy of the journey lies not in its speed.

Oh! vain his achievement and petty his pride Who travels alone without love at his side.

THE EARTH

The earth is yours and mine, Our God's bequest. That testament divine Who dare contest?

Usurpers of the earth, We claim our share. We are of royal birth. Beware! beware!

Unloose the hand of greed From God's fair land, We claim but what we need - That, we demand.

NOW

I leave with God to-morrow's where and how, And do concern myself but with the Now, That little word, though half the future's length, Well used, holds twice its meaning and its strength.

Like one blindfolded groping out his way, I will not try to touch beyond to-day. Since all the future is concealed from sight I need but strive to make the next step right.

That done, the next, and so on, till I find Perchance some day I am no longer blind, And looking up, behold a radiant Friend Who says, "Rest, now, for you have reached the end."

YOU AND TO-DAY

With every rising of the sun Think of your life as just begun.

The past has shrived and buried deep All yesterdays--there let them sleep,

Nor seek to summon back one ghost Of that innumerable host.

Concern yourself with but to-day; Woo it and teach it to obey

Your wish and will. Since time began


Poems of Power - 5/17

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