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Posts Tagged ‘Edwin Markham’

When Duty comes a-knocking at your gate,
Welcome him in; for if you bid him wait,
He will depart only to come once more
And bring seven other duties to your door.

 

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I built a chimney for a comrade old,
I did the service not for hope of hire –
And then I travelled on in winter’s cold
Yet all the way I glowed before the fire.

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There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.

I care not what his temples or his creeds,
One thing holds firm and fast –
That into his fateful heap of days and deeds
The soul of man is cast.

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We are all blind until we see
That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making if
It does not make the man. 

Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the work, unless
The builder also grows.

 

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……………Outwitted

He drew a circle that shut me out –
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took him in!

 

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L'homme à la houe (The Man with the Hoe) by Je...

          The Man With The Hoe

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?

Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?
Is this the dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this –
More tongued with censure of the world’s blind greed –
More filled with signs and portents for the soul –
More packt with danger to the universe.

What gulfs between him and seraphim!
Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
Are Plato and the swing of Pleiades?
What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
Thru this dread shape the suffering ages look;
Time’s tragedy is in that aching stoop;
Thru this dread shape humanity betrayed,
Plundered, profaned, and disinherited,
Cries protest to the Judges of the world,
A protest that is also prophecy.

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
Is this the handiwork you give to God,
This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
How will you ever straighten up this shape;
Touch it again with immortality;
Give back the upward looking and the light;
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
How will the Future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings –
With those who shaped him to the thing he is –
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
After the silence of the centuries?

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