The Englishman and Other Poems Part 2

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The Englishman and Other Poems is a Webnovel created by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

THE TRUTH TELLER

The Truth Teller lifts the curtain, And shows us the people’s plight; And everything seems uncertain, And nothing at all looks right.

Yet out of the blackness groping, My heart finds a world in bloom; For it somehow is fashioned for hoping, And it cannot live in the gloom.

He tells us from border to border, That race is warring with race; With riot and mad disorder, The earth is a wretched place; And yet ere the sun is setting I am thinking of peace, not strife; For my heart has a way of forgetting All things save the joy of life.

I heard in my Youth’s beginning That earth was a region of woe, And trouble, and sorrow, and sinning: The Truth Teller told me so.

I knew it was true, and tragic; And I mourned over much that was wrong; And then, by some curious magic, The heart of me burst into song.

The years have been going, going, A mixture of pleasure and pain; But the Truth Teller’s books are showing That evil is on the gain.

And I know that I ought to be grieving, And I should be too sad to sing; But somehow I keep on believing That life is a glorious thing.

JUST YOU

All the selfish joys of earth, I am getting through.

That which used to lure and lead Now I pa.s.s and give no heed; Only one thing seems of worth – Just you.

Not for me the lonely height, And the larger view; Lowlier ways seem fair and wide, While we wander side by side.

One thing makes the whole world bright – Just you.

Not for distant goals I run, No great aim pursue; Most of earth’s ambitions seem Like the shadow of a dream.

All the world to me means one – Just you.

REFLECTION

Twice have I seen G.o.d’s full reflected grace.

Once when the wailing of a child at birth Proclaimed another soul had come to earth, That look shone on, and through the mother’s face.

And once when silence, absolute and vast, Followed the final indrawn mortal breath, Sudden upon the countenance of death That supreme glory of G.o.d’s grace was cast.

SONGS OF LOVE AND THE SEA

I

When first we met (the Sea and I), Like one before a King, I stood in awe; nor felt nor saw The sun, the winds, the earth, the sky Or any other thing.

G.o.d’s Universe, to me, Was just the Sea.

When next we met, the lordly Main Played but a courtier’s part; Crowned Queen was I; and earth and sky, And sun and sea were my domain, Since love was in my heart.

Before, beyond, above, Was only Love.

II

Love built me, on a little rock, A little house of pine, At first, the Sea Beat angrily About that house of mine; (That dear, dear home of mine).

But when it turned to go away Beyond the sandy track, Down o’er its wall The house would call, Until the Sea came back; (It always hurried back).

And now the two have grown so fond, (Oh, breathe no word of this), When clouds hang low, And east winds blow, They meet and kiss and kiss: (At night, I hear them kiss).

III

No man can understand the Sea, until He knows all pa.s.sions of the senses; all The great emotions of the heart; and each Exalted aspiration of the soul.

Then may he sit beside the sea and say: ‘I, too, have flung myself against the rocks, And kissed their flinty brows with no return; And fallen spent upon unfeeling sands.

I, too, have gone forth yearning, to far sh.o.r.es, Seeking that something which would bring content; And finding only what I took away; And I have looked up, through the veil of skies, When all the world was still, and understood That I am one with Nature and with G.o.d.’

IV

The Dawn was flying from the Night; Swift as the wind she sped; Her hair was like a fleece of light; Her cheeks were warm and red.

All pa.s.sion pale, the Night pursued; She fled away, away; And in her garments, rainbow hued, She gained the peak of day.

And then, all shaken with alarms, She leaped down from its crest; Into the Sea’s uplifted arms, And swooned upon his breast.

ACQUAINTANCE

Not we who daily walk the City’s street; Not those who have been cradled in its heart, Best understand its architectural art, Or realise its grandeur. Oft we meet Some stranger who has stayed his pa.s.sing feet And lingered with us for a single hour, And learned more of cathedral, and of tower, Than we, who deem our knowledge quite complete.

Not always those we hold most loved and dear, Not always those who dwell with us, know best Our greater selves. Because they stand so near They cannot see the lofty mountain crest, The gleaming sun-kissed height, which fair and dear Stands forth–revealed unto the some-time guest.

IN INDIA’S DREAMY LAND

In India’s land one listens aghast To the people who scream and bawl; For each caste yells at a lower caste, And the Britisher yells at them all.

RANGOON

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