The Englishman and Other Poems Part 4

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

SHUT-IN

Across my window gla.s.s The moving shadows of the people pa.s.s.

Sometimes the shadow’s pause; and through the hall Kind neighbours come to call, Bringing a word or smile To cheer my loneliness a little while.

But as I hear them talk, These people who can walk And go about the great green earth at will, I wonder if they know the joy of being still, And all alone with thoughts that soar afar – High as the highest star.

And oft I feel more free Than those who travel over land and sea.

For one who is shut in, Away from all the outer strife and din, With faithful Pain for guide, Finds where Great Truths abide.

Across my window gla.s.s The moving shadows pa.s.s.

But swifter moves my unimpeded thought, Speeding from spot to spot – Out and afar – High as the highest star.

SONG OF THE RAIL

Oh, an ugly thing is an iron rail, Black, with its face to the dust.

But it carries a message where winged things fail; It crosses the mountains, and catches the trail, While the winds and the sea make sport of a sail; Oh, a rail is a friend to trust.

The iron rail, with its face to the sod, Is only a bar of ore; Yet it speeds where never a foot has trod; And the narrow path where it leads, grows broad; And it speaks to the world in the voice of G.o.d, That echoes from sh.o.r.e to sh.o.r.e.

Though the iron rail, on the earth down flung, Seems kin to the loam and the soil, Wherever its high shrill note is sung, Out of the jungle fair homes have sprung, And the voices of babel find one tongue, In the common language of toil.

Of priest, and warrior, and conquering king, Of Knights of the Holy Grail, Of wonders of winter, and glories of spring, Always and ever the poets sing; But the great G.o.d-Force, in a lowly thing, I sing, in my song of the rail.

ALWAYS AT SEA

Always at sea I think about the dead.

On barques invisible they seem to sail The self-same course; and from the decks cry ‘Hail’!

Then I recall old words that they have said, And see their faces etched upon the mist – Dear faces I have kissed.

Always the dead seem very close at sea.

The coa.r.s.e vibrations of the earth debar Our spirit friends from coming where we are.

But through G.o.d’s ether, unimpeded, free, They wing their way, the ocean deeps above – And find the hearts that love.

Always at sea my dead come very near.

A growing host; some old in spirit lore, And some who crossed to find the other sh.o.r.e But yesterday. All, all, I see and hear With inner senses, while the voice of faith Proclaims–there is no death.

THE SUITORS

There is a little Bungalow Perched on a granite ledge, And at its feet two suitors meet; (I watch them, and I know) One waits outside the cas.e.m.e.nt edge; One paces to and fro.

The Patient Rock speaks not a word; The Sea goes up and down, And sings full oft, in cadence soft; (I listen, and have heard) Again he wears an angry frown By jealous pa.s.sion stirred.

This dawn, the Rock was all aglow; Far out the mad Sea went; Beyond the raft, like one gone daft; (I saw them, and I know) While radiant and well content Smiled down the Bungalow.

That was at Dawn; ere day had set, The Sea with pleading voice Came back to woo his love anew; (I saw them when they met) And now I know not which her choice – (The Rock’s gray face was wet.)

THE JEALOUS G.o.dS

‘Oh life is wonderful,’ she said, ‘And all my world is bright; Can Paradise show fairer skies, Or more effulgent light?’

(Speak lower, lower, mortal heart, The jealous G.o.ds may hear.)

She turned for answer; but his gaze Cut past her like a lance, And shone like flame on one who came With radiant glance for glance.

(You spoke too loud, O mortal heart, The jealous G.o.ds were near.)

They walked through green and sunlit ways; And yet the earth seemed black, For there were three, where two should be; So runs the world, alack.

(The listening G.o.ds, the jealous G.o.ds, They want no Edens here.)

G.o.d RULES ALWAY

Into the world’s most high and holy places Men carry selfishness, and graft and greed.

The air is rent with warring of the races; Loud Dogmas drown a brother’s cry of need.

The Fleet-of-Creeds, upon Time’s ocean lurches; And there is mutiny upon her decks; And in the light of temples, and of churches, Against life’s sh.o.r.es drift wrecks and derelicts.

(G.o.d rules, G.o.d rules alway.)

Right in the shadow of the lofty steeple, Which crowns some costly edifice of faith, Behold the throngs of hungry, unhoused people; The ‘Bread Line,’ flanked by charity and death.

See yonder Churchman, opulently doing Unnumbered deeds, which gladden and resound; The while his thrifty tenant is pursuing The white slave trade on sacred, untaxed ground.

(G.o.d rules, G.o.d rules alway.)

For these are but the outward signs of fever; Those flaunting signs, which through delirium burn; And the clear-seeing eye of each Believer Can note the coming crisis. It will turn, For it has reached its summit. Convalescing, The sick world shall arise to strength and peace, And earth shall bloom, with each and every blessing Life waits to give, when wars and conflicts cease.

(G.o.d rules, G.o.d rules alway.)

This is a mighty hour. No sounds of drumming, No flying flags, no heralds do appear; No Wise Men of the East proclaim His coming; Yet He is coming–nay, our Christ is here!

And man shall leave his fever dreams behind him; Those dreams of avarice, and l.u.s.t, and sin, And seek his Lord; yea, he shall seek and find Him, In his own soul, where He has always been.

(G.o.d rules, G.o.d rules alway.)

Man longs for G.o.d. Before the Christ we wot of, With His brief mighty message, came to earth, Before His life, or creed, or cross were thought of, The love of love within man’s breast had birth.

But blindly, through his carnal senses reaching, He plucked dead fruit, and nothing has sufficed; Nor can his soul find rest in any teaching, Until he knows that he, himself, is Christ.

(G.o.d rules, G.o.d rules alway.)

Oh, when he knows this truth in all its splendour, What majesty, what glory crowns his life: And, one with G.o.d, his every thought is tender; He cannot enter into war, or strife.

His love goes out to every race and nation; His whole religion lies in being kind.

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