Are all those childbed sorrows sneered away?
Yea, fools laugh at the humble christenings,
And cradle-joys are mocked of the fat lords:
These mothers' sons made dead men for the Kings!
All in the name of this or that grim flag,
No angel-flags in all the rag-array --
Banners the demons love, and all Hell sings
And plays wild harps. Those flags march forth to-day!
III. Who Knows?
They say one king is mad. Perhaps. Who knows?
They say one king is doddering and grey.
They say one king is slack and sick of mind,
A puppet for hid strings that twitch and play.
Is Europe then to be their sprawling-place?
Their mad-house, till it turns the wide world's bane?
Their place of maudlin, slavering conference
Till every far-off farmstead goes insane?
IV. To Buddha
Awake again in Asia, Lord of Peace,
Awake and preach, for her far swordsmen rise.
And would they sheathe the sword before you, friend,
Or scorn your way, while looking in your eyes?
Good comrade and philosopher and prince,
Thoughtful and thoroughbred and strong and kind,
Dare they to move against your pride benign,
Lord of the Law, high chieftain of the mind?
* * * * *
But what can Europe say, when in your name
The throats are cut, the lotus-ponds turn red?
And what can Europe say, when with a laugh
Old Asia heaps her hecatombs of dead?
V. The Unpardonable Sin
This is the sin against the Holy Ghost: --
To speak of bloody power as right divine,
And call on God to guard each vile chief's house,
And for such chiefs, turn men to wolves and swine: --
To go forth killing in White Mercy's name,
Making the trenches stink with spattered brains,
Tearing the nerves and arteries apart,
Sowing with flesh the unreaped golden plains.
In any Church's name, to sack fair towns,
And turn each home into a screaming sty,
To make the little children fugitive,
And have their mothers for a quick death cry, --
This is the sin against the Holy Ghost:
This is the sin no purging can atone: --
To send forth rapine in the name of Christ: --
To set the face, and make the heart a stone.
VI. Above the Battle's Front
St. Francis, Buddha, Tolstoi, and St. John --
Friends, if you four, as pilgrims, hand in hand,
Returned, the hate of earth once more to dare,
And walked upon the water and the land,
If you, with words celestial, stopped these kings
For sober conclave, ere their battle great,
Would they for one deep instant then discern
Their crime, their heart-rot, and their fiend's estate?
If you should float above the battle's front,
Pillars of cloud, of fire that does not slay,
Bearing a fifth within your regal train,
The Son of David in his strange array --
If, in his majesty, he towered toward Heaven,Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>