Excerpt from A Harp of the West
He slept, and his soul was uplifted, And borne on the Night's. Ebon breast, To lands where the red sun still sifted, His beams o'er the drouth-stricken West. The corn standing dead by the highways Bore nought Of the life-saving grain, The cattl... e that roamed in the byways Were seeking for moisture in vain.
Oh think of the famine-struck masses, Oh, look on our harvest all sere!
He saw the grim face of Starvation Look out from the half-open door, He saw the Storehouse of the Nation AS bare as a wide threshing ¿oor!
He heard the babes calling for mercy, Oh, give of your millions to save!
But nought from a plethoric purse, be To succor the needy ones gave!
He Sleeps, but his spirit is roaming Away from his body of clay, The shadows still dance in the gloaming, And bow to the gods of Cathay.
He stands where the waters are sweeping The earth with a glittering scythe, He sees where the torrents are heaping Up bodies that fearfully writhe; The gold of a fair woman's tresses, The snow of her bosom all cold, Death touches with silent caresses, Then Clasps in a passionate fold. Out there, a pale arm in the darkness, Is laid on a pillow of moss, And cut by another whose starkness, Forms with it a white marble cross. He hears the weak moan of the dying, Storm-tossed on that ocean-swept shore, And voices of women there crying, Half lost in the elements roar. The winds say, Oh give to the needy! The waves say, The billows Of Time, Are heartless as we, and as greedy, They'll cover you, too, with their rime! He hears, but the love of his riches, Lies close to his world-hardened heart, Fills full all its corners and niches, And leaves for sweet Pity no part.
He Slept, and he heard a voice calling, Come, look on the ocean of fire! Its terrors so red and appalling, Would satisfy Satan's desire! The glare of that furnace was blinding, The face of the heavens was white, The ¿ames in their fury unwinding Had burned up the curtains of Night. The terrified creatures were moaning, And seeking for shelter in vain, The pines of the forest were groaning.
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