"Progress and Poverty!" Man, hast thou traced
The blood that throbs commingled in thy veins?
Over thy shoulder hast thou cast a glance On thine
old Celtic-Saxon-Norman sires— Huddled
in squalid huts on beds of straw? Barefooted
churls swine-herding in the fens, Bare-legged cowherds
in their cow-skin coats, Wearing the collars of their
Thane or Eorl, His serfs, his slaves, even as thy
dog is thine; Harried by hunger, pillaged, ravaged,
slain, By Viking robbers and the warring Jarls;
Oft glad like hunted swine to fill their maws
With herbs and acorns. "Progress and Poverty!"
The humblest laborer in our mills or mines
Is royal Thane beside those slavish churls;
The frugal farmer in our land to-day
Lives better than their kings—himself a king.
Lo every age refutes old errors still,
And still begets new errors for the next;
But all the creeds of politics or priests
Can’t make one error truth, one truth a lie.
There is no religion higher than the truth;
Men make the creeds, but God ordains the law.
Above all cant, all arguments of men,
Above all superstitions, old or new,
Above all creeds of every age and clime,
Stands the eternal truth—the creed of creeds.
Sweet is the lute to him who hath not heard
The prattle of his children at his knees:
Ah, he is rich indeed whose humble home
Contains a frugal wife and sweet content.
I saw a light on yester-night—
A low light on the misty lea;
The stars were dim and silence grim
Sat brooding on the sullen sea.
From out the silence came a voice—
A voice that thrilled me through and through,
And said, “Alas, is this your choice?
For he is false and I was true.”
And in my ears the passing years
Will sadly whisper words of rue:
Forget—and yet—can I forget
That one was false and one was true?
Change is the order of the universe.
Worlds wax and wane; suns die and stars are born.
Two atoms of cosmic dust unite, cohere—
And lo the building of a world begun.
On all things—high or low, or great or small—
Earth, ocean, mountain, mammoth, midge and man,
On mind and matter—lo perpetual change—
God’s fiat—stamped! The very bones of man
Change as he grows from infancy to age.
His loves, his hates, his tastes, his fancies, change.
His blood and brawn demand a change of food;
His mind as well: the sweetest harp of heaven
Were hateful if it played the selfsame tune
Forever, and the fairest flower that gems
The garden, if it bloomed throughout the year,
Would blush unsought. The most delicious fruits
Pall on our palate if we taste too oft,
And Hyblan honey turns to bitter gall.
Perpetual winter is a reign of gloom;