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- Poems of Progress - 10/16 -


TO-DAY

I love this age of energy and force, Expectantly I greet each pregnant hour; Emerging from the all-creative source, Supreme with promise, imminent with power. The strident whistle and the clanging bell, The noise of gongs, the rush of motored things Are but the prophet voices which foretell A time when thought may use unfettered wings.

Too long the drudgery of earth has been A barrier 'twixt man and his own mind. Remove the stone, and lo! the Christ within; For He is there, and who so seeks shall find. The Great Inventor is the Modern Priest. He paves the pathway to a higher goal. Once from the grind of endless toil released Man will explore the kingdom of his soul.

And all this restless rush, this strain and strife, This noise and glare is but the fanfarade That ushers in the more majestic life Where faith shall walk with science, unafraid. I feel the strong vibrations of the earth, I sense the coming of an hour sublime, And bless the star that watched above my birth And let me live in this important time.

THE LADDER

Unto each mortal who comes to earth A ladder is given by God, at birth, And up this ladder the soul must go, Step by step, from the valley below; Step by step, to the centre of space, On this ladder of lives, to the Starting Place.

In time departed (which yet endures) I shaped my ladder, and you shaped yours. Whatever they are--they are what we made: A ladder of light, or a ladder of shade, A ladder of love, or a hateful thing, A ladder of strength, or a wavering string. A ladder of gold, or a ladder of straw, Each is the ladder of righteous law.

We flung them away at the call of death, We took them again with the next life breath. For a keeper stands by the great birth gates; As each soul passes, its ladder waits. Though mine be narrow, and yours be broad, On my ladder alone can I climb to God. On your ladder alone can your feet ascend, For none may borrow, and none may lend.

If toil and trouble and pain are found, Twisted and corded, to form each round, If rusted iron or mouldering wood Is the fragile frame, you must make it good. You must build it over and fashion it strong, Though the task be hard as your life is long; For up this ladder the pathway leads To earthly pleasures and spirit needs; And all that may come in another way Shall be but illusion, and will not stay.

In useless effort, then, waste no time; Rebuild your ladder, and climb and climb.

WHO IS A CHRISTIAN?

Who is a Christian in this Christian land Of many churches and of lofty spires? Not he who sits in soft upholstered pews Bought by the profits of unholy greed, And looks devotion, while he thinks of gain. Not he who sends petitions from the lips That lie to-morrow in the street and mart. Not he who fattens on another's toil, And flings his unearned riches to the poor, Or aids the heathen with a lessened wage, And builds cathedrals with an increased rent.

Christ, with Thy great, sweet, simple creed of love, How must Thou weary of Earth's 'Christian' clans, Who preach salvation through Thy saving blood While planning slaughter of their fellow men. Who is a Christian? It is one whose life Is built on love, on kindness and on faith; Who holds his brother as his other self; Who toils for justice, equity and PEACE, And hides no aim or purpose in his heart That will not chord with universal good.

Though he be pagan, heretic or Jew, That man is Christian and beloved of Christ.

THE GOAL

All your wonderful inventions, All your houses vast and tall, All your great gun-fronted vessels, Every fort and every wall, With the passing of the ages, They shall pass and they shall fall.

As you sit among the idols That your avarice gave birth, As you count the hoarded treasures That you think of priceless worth, Time is digging tombs to hide them In the bosom of the earth.

There shall come a great convulsion Or a rushing tidal wave, Or a sound of mighty thunders From a subterranean cave, And a boasting world's possessions Shall be buried in one grave.

From the Centuries of Silence We are bringing back again Buried vase and bust and column And the gods they worshipped then, In the strange unmentioned cities Built by prehistoric men.

Did they steal, and lie, and slaughter? Did they steep their souls in shame? Did they sell eternal virtues Just to win a passing fame? Did they give the gold of honour For the tinsel of a name?

We are hurrying all together Toward the silence and the night; There is nothing worth the seeking But the sun-kissed moral height - There is nothing worth the doing But the doing of the RIGHT.

THE SPUR

I asked the rock beside the road what joy existence lent. It answered, 'For a million years my heart has been content.'

I asked the truffle-seeking swine, as rooting by he went, 'What is the keynote of your life?' He grunted out, 'Content.'

I asked a slave, who toiled and sung, just what his singing meant. He plodded on his changeless way, and said, 'I am content.'

I asked a plutocrat of greed, on what his thoughts were bent. He chinked the silver in his purse, and said, 'I am content.'

I asked the mighty forest tree from whence its force was sent. Its thousand branches spoke as one, and said, 'From discontent.'

I asked the message speeding on, by what great law was rent God's secret from the waves of space. It said, 'From discontent.'

I asked the marble, where the works of God and man were blent, What brought the statue from the block. It answered, 'Discontent.'

I asked an Angel, looking down on earth with gaze intent, How man should rise to larger growth. Quoth he, 'Through discontent.'

AWAKENED!

Slowly the People waken; they have been, Like weary soldiers, sleeping in their tents, While traitors tiptoed through the silent camp Intent on plunder. Suddenly a sound - A careless movement of too bold a thief -


Poems of Progress - 10/16

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